All news items

19 August 2015
The fifth annual Public Interest Law Gathering (PILG) was held at the University of the Witwatersrand last month, and provided South African lawyers and civil society with an opportunity to reflect on issues affecting the public interest sphere and to discuss ways in which the law can be used as a tool for social change. As in all previous years, the event featured fascinating discussions on...
12 August 2015
The Department of Home Affairs said it will comply with the Constitutional Court's order to re-open the refugee centre in Port Elizabeth. The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Refugee Rights Centre challenged the closure of centre in the High Court in February 2012 and won the case in 2013. The department appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal which ruled against it. The closure...
11 August 2015
On Wednesday, the Constitutional court dismissed an application by the department of home affairs to appeal a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment that declared its decision to close the Port Elizabeth refugee office unlawful. This means that the SCA judgment stands. Asylum seekers and people wishing to be granted refugee status have to apply for in person at a refugee office, such as the one...
11 August 2015
The media and the public will now be allowed to attend asylum seekers’ appeals when conducted following the adoption of the Refugee Amendment Bill. Parliament’s portfolio committee on home affairs adopted the bill last week. The bill would ease asylum seekers’ appeals and refugees’ applications to maintain their status in the country as it would fast-track both processes,...
11 August 2015
A Western Cape Cape High Court judge is facing a legal conundrum after three illegal immigrants arrested during a national clampdown – Operation Fiela – turned to the courts to test the lawfulness of their detention. Judge Dennis Davis found himself on the verge of “pulling out his hair” on Friday when he was faced with arguments for and against the release of the three...
8 August 2015
Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) has expressed outrage at the use of “derogatory and offensive remarks” by Deputy Minister of Police Maggie Sotyu during a memorial service for three slain officers. Sotyu was speaking at the joint memorial service of constables Njabulo Buthelezi, James Seolwane and Celimpilo Hlabisa at the Vosloorus Civic Centre last week. They were recently killed in...
7 August 2015
Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) has condemned Deputy Police Minister Makhotso Sotyu’s remarks on the recent police killings. Speaking at the memorial service for slain police officers on 4 August 2015, Sotyu told mourners that “our strategic implementation plan must always intend to treat heinous criminals as outcasts, who must neither have place in the society nor peace in their cells...
6 August 2015
A police officer shot and wounded in Mitchells Plain may have been targeted, this according to Mitchell's Plain police. The policeman was shot at a petrol station in Rocklands and was rushed to the nearest hospital. Mitchells Plain cops say the off-duty officer was filling his car at a fuel station on the corner of Cedars Avenue and Boshof Way when he was shot by an unknown attacker. Police...
28 July 2015
Researchers have warned that disturbingly high levels of corruption in the Asylum Seeking Process may soon spread to other areas of the public service. For the first time, the African Centre for Migration and Society, together with Lawyers for Human Rights, conducted research which shows that close to a third of migrants is experiencing corruption. Senior researcher, Roni Amit, says many...
28 July 2015
Children seeking asylum will now be included in their caregiver’s application‚ regardless of whether they are biological relatives‚ Lawyers for Human Rights and the Centre for Child Law said. This follows a ruling by the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday that all children entering South Africa with an relative applying for asylum will be a regarded as a dependent of the...