Tag Archives: home affairs

What’s in a woman’s [sur]name?

Last year I visited the bank to do some admin and I was informed that my surname on their system differed to that which was in my ID. I was enraged. It was a few months after my partner and I had gotten married. We had gone to the Randburg Home Affairs office and with…

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Agreed: SA flouting immigration laws a concern…for foreigners

By David Cote In a recent statement, the parliamentary portfolio committee on home affairs released a statement titled “Flouting of immigration regulations a concern” in which it cautioned foreign nationals in South Africa not to commit crimes and put “in jeopardy the basis on which they are in South Africa”. The committee quoted instances of…

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Marie biscuit corruption shows up the rot

This week a minor official, corrupted with a packet of Marie biscuits, highlighted starkly the present rot and inequities in the nation. Corruption is endemic to all political systems. What differs is how it is dealt with. Because governments in Western democracies are easily voted out, popular outrage over corruption is assuaged by periodically acting…

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The monster in the attic needs therapy

The president’s Cabinet should be a cosy little family of government departments — an inner circle where each ministry supports the other, in turn all making common cause for the greater national good. Instead the avuncular Jacob Zuma presides over a dysfunctional, maladjusted and in some cases, downright sinister bunch. The bullying, thug portfolios congregate…

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Condemned to obscurity: The state of our population register and the right to vote

By Liesl Muller I recently attended an election-observer training session in preparation for next month’s elections. I was inspired by the chance to play my part in the democratic process shaping the future of our country. Voting is an opportunity many South Africans did not have in the years before democracy and which South Africans…

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Immigration: Is South Africa keeping out those it needs?

Election time is nearly upon us, which signals a flurry of activity to curry favour. A recent attempt was the hearings on the Immigration Amendment Bill. As a continental leader it is only befitting to want to monitor the comings and goings of people. The Immigration Amendment Bill seeks to tighten up the “porous borders”,…

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Shipwrecked by injustice but clinging to the Constitution

Surveys show that barely half of South Africans trust the justice system, despite relatively few personally having been snagged in its maw. So it is a welcome paradox when someone dealt only injustice by officialdom, somehow retains faith in the Constitution. Hollander Thijs van Hillegondsberg and family – wife Patricia Poelmann, joint son Ludo, and…

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A family destroyed by bureaucratic bullies

At a stroke past Saturday midnight, Thijs van Hillegondsberg becomes a wanted man. He will be arrested at his Strand home, jailed, tried, likely committed to a Home Affairs detention centre, processed and eventually bundled onto a plane to the Netherlands. This is because Van Hillegondsberg is an illegal immigrant and has been served with…

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How to fix Lindela

By Corey R Johnson The Lindela Repatriation Centre, South Africa’s main detention facility for persons deemed to be illegal and slated for deportation, has a long and notorious reputation for repeated rights abuses of detainees. In 2000 the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) released a report, which detailed the human-rights violations and listed a…

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Nkosazana good for AU, good for SA

As Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma prepared to take over her responsibilities as the new and first female leader of the African Union Commission, the reaction back home was somewhat bitter-sweet. Many said the former foreign affairs minister was being sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. They argued SA was losing one of its finest. That she…

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