Landmark court ruling gives Zims right to docs, health

JOHANNESBURG - Thousands of Zimbabwe asylum seekers will now able to access proper asylum documentation after a landmark Transvaal High Court ruling, which made it unlawful for Department of Home Affairs to issue asylum seekers with waiting slips.
The police did not recognize the appointmen

t slips and most of the holders of the slips were arrested and deported before they could be issued with asylum papers. People issued with the appointment letters could not work or study.
Kuda Tafira and other seven Zimbabweans took the Minister of Home Affairs to court over the use expediting the pre-screening procedures and the resultant decisions. Many Zimbabweans were rejected soon after they had been issued with asylum papers without being given proper reasons.
Department of Home Affairs officials were targeting Zimbabwean asylum seekers for rejection for refugee status in move described as ‘political’. They also made it impossible for Zimbabweans to apply for asylum papers, as they will always close the office for new application.
Wits Law Clinic Advocate, Abeda Bhamjee who represented the Zimbabweans said: “In recent times there has been a high level of discrimination against particular nationals especially Zimbabweans.”
In a related case, Zimbabweans without identity will now able get treatment in South Africa hospitals and those who are living with HIV will be enrolled on anti-retroviral treatment.
Correspondence from Dr MD Kalombo, the Manager for Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Care, states:” Patients should not be denied ARV because they do not have an ID if all issues affecting adherence have been addressed and the treatment team is convinced that the patience stands to benefit from the intervention.”
Many Zimbabweans had been turned away from public hospitals because they did not have ID or were holders of asylum papers. – Magugu Nyathi

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