Refugee hits R300,000 jackpot off Home Affairs minister Motsoaledi’s wallet

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 a department office.

Ntahopagaze Abdul, a refugee from Burundi, was arrested on June 7, 2017, after visiting the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) office in Marabastad, Pretoria, to apply for the re-issuance of his stolen refugee documents.

Abdul had lost his documents in a robbery three days prior.

According to the judgment, Abdul was arrested by DHA members and handed over to the South African Police Service (SAPS) at the Pretoria Central Police Station. He was detained for 13 days.

Abdul later filed a lawsuit against the DHA and Minister of Home Affairs, alleging unlawful arrest, detention, and defamation. The court found in his favor, ruling that his arrest and detention were unlawful.

The court noted that Abdul had provided sufficient evidence of his refugee status and that the DHA had failed to establish that he was an illegal immigrant.

The court also found that the DHA had defamed Abdul by publishing a notice in the Government Gazette stating that he was an illegal immigrant.

In its judgment, the court awarded Abdul R300,000 in damages for the harm caused by his unlawful arrest and detention.

The court also ordered the DHA to expunge the notice from the Government Gazette.

The judgment is a reminder of the importance of due process and the rights of refugees in South Africa. It also underscores the responsibility of government officials to act in a lawful and non-discriminatory manner.

Also Read: Home affairs official tries to hide evidence during SIU raid on fraud commited by the department

Share This