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20. May. 2024 News24

Home Affairs minister ordered to pay refugee R300 000 following unlawful arrest




• In June 2017, a refugee went to a Department of Home Affairs office to apply for the re-issue of his refugee papers that had been stolen during a robbery.
• Instead of getting help, Ntahompagaze Abdul was arrested by Home Affairs officials on a charge of being an illegal immigrant and detained for 13 days.
• The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ordered that the minister of Home Affairs pay R300 000 to the refugee for the unlawful arrest and detainment.
The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ordered the minister of Home Affairs to pay R300 000 to a refugee who was unlawfully arrested at one of the department`s offices after he tried to apply for a re-issue of his refugee papers that had been stolen.
On 7 June 2017, Ntahompagaze Abdul was arrested on a charge of being an illegal immigrant after he went to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) officers in Marabastad, Pretoria, to apply for his refugee documents - which he had lost during a robbery three days earlier.
According to a judgment handed down earlier in May, Abdul was arrested by members of the DHA. After that, he was handed over to members of the SA Police Service at the Pretoria Central Police Station, where he was detained for 13 days.
On 20 June 2017, Abdul was released when it was discovered that he had been mistakenly arrested, Judge Elizabeth Kubushi said.
`As a result of such arrest and detention, the plaintiff [Abdul] is said to have suffered an infringement of his right to physical and psychological integrity and physical liberty,` Kubushi said.
`The plaintiff has, consequently, instituted action for unlawful arrest and detention against the minister of home affairs and the minister of police. The matter is defended.`
The matter was initially set down for trial in May 2020, where it was partially settled.
`Among others, the following was by agreement between the parties made an order of court, namely, that (a) the defendant [minister of home affairs] concedes liability in respect of the plaintiff`s 100% proven or agreed damages; (b) the claim against the minister of police is withdrawn; and (c) the quantum is postponed sine die [with no appointed date for resumption].`
Kubushi said Abdul was claiming R13 000 for loss of income and general damages of R400 000, which was later increased to R600 000.
`During oral argument, the plaintiff`s counsel included a further claim for future medical expenses and related expenses in respect of the treatment of depression and anxiety.`
Post-traumatic stress disorder
As part of the matter, Abdul submitted medical reports by psychiatrists and psychologists, which spoke about his mental state following the arrest and detention.
Two specialist psychiatrists who independently examined Abdul agreed that, due to his arrest and subsequent incidents, he suffers from major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
`The psychiatrists agree that the plaintiff requires psychiatric treatment and management. They also agree that the plaintiff suffered trauma physically, emotionally and economically, but does not require protection on psychiatric grounds.`
Two clinical psychologists said Abdul`s unlawful arrest and incarceration had left him with a range of physical, emotional and psychological difficulties directly occasioned by the trauma of his experience in custody.
General damages
Kubushi said from the medical reports, it could be determined that, during his detention, Abdul could not make a phone call to inform anyone that he was incarcerated, which made him anxious.
He also could not make a phone call to get his medication brought to him.
The reports said:
During the time he could not take his medication, he developed rashes on certain parts of the body.
Abdul further told the experts that he was locked up with other inmates in a dirty, smelly holding cell with only one open toilet wherein when any person wanted to relieve themselves, they would have to do it in full view of others.
The minister of Home Affairs` counsel contended that Abdul was held at a police station and that prison would have been worse.
It was also argued that Abdul`s PTSD, anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder could not solely be a result of his arrest and detention because he is from a country that experienced war in the past, which caused his parents to flee to South Africa.
Based on case law and the facts before the court, Kubushi said the R600 000 claimed by Abdul as compensation for general damages was excessive.
`A fair, reasonable and appropriate amount to compensate the plaintiff in the circumstances of this matter is R300 000,` Kubushi said.
The court dismissed Abdul`s claim for loss of income as a hairstylist.
Meanwhile, the claim for future medical expenses and related expenses was postponed as Abdul`s legal team asked for a postponement to amend its application for such a claim.



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Namibia demands reciprocal visas for their nationals

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5 South African Countries Announce Plans to Introduce Single Visa to Promote Tourism

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10. Jun. 2024 The South African

There’s a huge VISA backlog at home affairs that’s stifling SA

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10. Jun. 2024 News24

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10. Jun. 2024 The Guardian

High court rules Home Office acted unlawfully over visa documents

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10. Jun. 2024 City Press

SA`s population is getting older: `New report offers government blueprint for future planning`

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07. Jun. 2024 BusinessTech

South Africa scores massive own-goal

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07. Jun. 2024 SURin english

Almost half the adult population of Spain is having difficulty making ends meet

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06. Jun. 2024 IOL

Cape Town boy can relocate to Germany with mom

The Western Cape High Court has ruled it would be in the best interests of a 12-year-old boy to relocate to Germany following a custody battle between his divorced parents. The Western Cape High Court has ruled it would be in the best interests of a 12-year-old boy to relocate to Germany following a custody battle between his divorced parents. Judge Gayaat Salie granted the mother, an air traffic controller who accepted a job offer in Germany, the right to have her son permanently removed from Cape Town to live with her despite the father submitting a counter application. In her judgment, Judge Salie said: “The most salient words were however expressed by none other than the minor parties’ 12-year-old son, who forms the subject of this application. V.5417

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06. Jun. 2024 Times Lives

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05. Jun. 2024 Reuters

Italy`s Meloni blames organised crime for `alarming` migrant visa fraud

Criminal gangs are exploiting loopholes in Italy`s legal visa system for foreign workers to smuggle in illegal immigrants, a problem the anti-Mafia prosecutor should investigate, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni told her cabinet on Tuesday. As part of its tough stance on immigration, Meloni`s rightist government has passed an array of measures to curb arrivals, but has also expanded legal immigration channels in response to growing labour shortages. V.5415

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05. Jun. 2024 Daily Maverick

EU visa restrictions on Ethiopians highlight further strains in migration relations

Since 29 April, the European Union (EU) has imposed temporary restrictions on Schengen short-term visas for Ethiopians. These include prohibiting multiple entry visas, longer processing times, and eliminating waivers for certain documentary requirements and visa fees. The European Commission said the action was due to a “lack of response from the Ethiopian authorities regarding readmission requests,” and shortcomings in organising “voluntary and non-voluntary return operations,” (the latter is how the EU describes deportation). The restrictions raise concerns about the efficiency and fairness of the EU’s migration policies. Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nebiyu Tedla said the developments were “incompatible with acceptable diplomatic practices” and asked the EU Council to reconsider the “unfair” restrictions. V.5416

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04. Jun. 2024 Schengen News

Irish Authorities Identified 50 Individuals Without Visas Arriving from UK Last Week

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04. Jun. 2024 TraveloBiz

Schengen Visa Rejection: Top 10 Countries with the Most Denied Applications

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04. Jun. 2024 Moneyweb

Digital nomad visa a step in the right direction

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04. Jun. 2024 SA Migration

Notarial Contract Agreement - EXPLAINED

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30. May. 2024 The Economist

Home Affairs to introduce entry visa requirement for non-reciprocating nations

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security (MHAISS) in a recent announcement, revealed its intention to implement an entry visa requirement for nationals hailing from countries that have not reciprocated Namibia’s favourable visa policies. Etienne Maritz, the executive director at MHAISS, outlined this decision last week, highlighting its aim to foster fair and balanced diplomatic relations. The directive, set to impact citizens from 31 nations, including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Britain, and the United States, comes as a response to years of one-sided goodwill gestures from Namibia. V.5406

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30. May. 2024 Reuters

DR Congo names new government after months of delay

Democratic Republic of Congo has appointed a new government, spokesperson Tina Salama said in the early hours of Wednesday, ending an impasse that has mired the country in political uncertainty for months. President Felix Tshisekedi won a second term after elections in late 2023 that also handed his Sacred Union coalition a large majority in parliament. But internal jostling for jobs has delayed the formation of a new cabinet of ministers. V.5407

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Articles

13. Jun. 2024 IOL

Namibia demands reciprocal visas for their nationals

Nationals from thirty one countries will need to complete an online application form and obtain visas-on-arrival. Namibia`s Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security (MHAISS) has declared that thirty one countries, mainly from Europe, will be removed from its visa-exempt list due to the lack of reciprocal visa arrangements for Namibian citizens. While the implementation date is yet to be determined, nationals from these countries will need to complete an online application form and obtain visas-on-arrival, as stated by MHAISS. V.5428

Click here for full article

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