COURT RULES ON KIDS BORN IN SOUTH AFRICA TO FOREIGN PARENTS

COURT RULES ON KIDS BORN IN SOUTH AFRICA TO FOREIGN PARENTS

Children born in South Africa to foreign parents are entitled to apply for citizenship through the South African Citizenship Act 88 of 1995, even if they were born before the 2010 Amendment of the Act, which came into effect in 2013.

This was the judgment delivered in the Western Cape High Court in a case brought against Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize and the department’s director-general last month, by the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), on behalf of six children born to foreign parents in SA.

“They meet the requirements for applying for citizenship in terms of Section 4(3) of the Citizenship Act, in that they were born in South Africa, have lived here since birth and have birth certificates attesting to their birth in South Africa,” the LRC said.

All born before 2013 and now over 18 years old, the children are: Miriam Ali, Aden Nuredin Salih, Kanu Teka Jorsen Nkololo, Farieda Nsoki, Caroline Masuku and Murphy Ngaga.

The court directed the department to accept the six’s applications for citizenship and to decide on the applications within 10 days.

It also directed that the Amendment Act be interpreted to include children born before 2013.

“The LRC are pleased with the judgment, which affirms the rights of our clients to be treated with dignity and not to be rendered non-citizens through the wrongful interpretation of statutes” the LRC said.

Earlier the Department of Home Affairs had refused to consider their applications, arguing that Section 4(3) was introduced through the Amendment Act of 2010, which came into effect in 2013, and therefore only applied to children born after 2013.

The department argued that the section could only be implemented for those turning 18 after 2013 and that the six were not prejudiced as they could apply for refugee status or permanent residency.

The high court agreed with the LRC that there were constitutional entitlements at stake, including the right to dignity, and that, “the applicants have a statutory right to apply for citizenship and the respondents cannot limit or interfere with this right by contending that “no prejudice flows”.

The Department of Home Affairs had not responded by deadline time.

RAPHAEL WOLF / IOL

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Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 6422 posts

We are about democracy, human rights, public opinion, political behavior, civil rights and policy aimed at improving the human condition, with a focus on African countries.

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