Govt to oppose order allowing 22 Afghan nationals into SA

Govt to oppose order allowing 22 Afghan nationals into SA

Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi believes a US Non-Governmental Organisation is trying to use the legal system to undermine and ambush South Africa’s sovereignty. Motsoaledi has reacted to an order by the High Court in Pretoria that government grants asylum to 22 Afghan nationals.

The order was issued on Friday after lawyers representing a United States-based NGO approached the court on behalf of the 22 Afghan nationals.

The NGO argued that the group might be victimised by the Taliban regime which took power in August 2021.

“On the 14th our officials in Beitbridge received a letter written by a firm of lawyers saying that they have clients that are coming, 22 of them. We are warning them that you must be given a transit visa to enter South Africa and apply for asylum, they never named the clients, they didn’t even mention where they came from. While the people there were still surprised, 22 people arrived and said they’re from Afghanistan and they want to enter the country, their lawyers have given us prior notice and they were carrying visa from Zimbabwe,” says Motsoaledi.

Meanwhile, Motsoaledi says government will be opposing the court order.

“Yesterday they went to court to get an interim order that we must allow these people to come in, the return date is on the 7th of March but that court order has been granted that we must allow them in, but the judge realised that we were not in court. We were not in court because they manipulated the law and processes because they know that we are in Pretoria but they served a junior person in Beitbridge through an email and the person was in the field and only saw the email after 4 hours and after 4 hours they had already been in court and got the order but the judge realised that we were not there and allowed us that we can do something within 24 hours.”

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