Somalians take SA Home Affairs to court over refugee processing

Somalians take SA Home Affairs to court over refugee processing

June 19 2017 – THE  Somalian community in SA has taken the bull by the horns and is taking the SA’s Home Affairs to court over how the department is handling refugee and asylees.

The Somali Association of South Africa (SASA), which is being represented by, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR)’s case will be heard on  the 20th of this month, coinciding with Word Refugee Day,  at the Gauging Provincial High Court.

SASA  says it  seeks   to address the current crisis of quality refugee ajudication at the Refugee Appeal Board (RAB).

”It is contended that the RAB judgments reflect a pattern of unlawful and inadequate decision-making,” says a LHR statement.

SASA is  particularly contesting four aspects namely  “the misinterpretation and misapplication of the test for Refugee Status in particular to Section 3(b) of the Refugees Act; applying the wrong burden of proof for asylum for applicants; applying the wrong approach in assessing the credibility of each claim and failing to apply the principle of audi alterem partemand respecting procedural fairness.

“The results of these errors lead to vulnerable individuals fleeing war and internal displacement failing to access refugee protection despite being specifically accommodated by the Refugees Act and International Refugee Conventions,” adds LHR.

Thousands of refugees including many Zimbabweans are also  being arrested and deported, when going to renew their asylum paperwork. 

“The RAB’s quality of decision-making relating to these Somalian asylum seekers is systematically defective,” states LHR, which says its seeking for the court to grant them refugee protection, but also structural relief .

“And to identify and address the underlying causes of the problems in the RAB’s decision-making which might result in refugees not receiving protection under the law, says the LHR adding that the  case is important as it will affect all asylum seekers that appear before the Appeal Board to ensure fair, procedurally correct and quality decisions are produced.  – reporter