South Africa: Guptas show what home affairs can do

Published: 16/Mar/2018
Source: Mail & Guardian (South Africa)

By Dan Brotman

I was admitted in 2013 as a permanent resident under “exceptional skills” and have been ordinarily resident in South Africa for more than five years, as required by section 5(1)(c) of the South African Citizenship Act of 1995 (as amended).

Despite complying with the legislation, my application for naturalisation was turned down last September because of the regulation requiring 10 years of ordinary residence, which the department of home affairs incorrectly interprets as 10 years as a permanent resident.

Legislation always trumps regulation, and the public protector recently gave the department three months to align its 10-year ordinary residence regulation to the five-year ordinary residence period stipulated in the Act. The matter will be heard in court in May.

Early naturalisation was to the Guptas under section 5(9)(a) of the Act, which states that “the minister may under exceptional circumstances grant a certificate of naturalisation as South African citizen who does not comply with the requirements … relating to residence or ordinary residence in the republic”.

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Themes: Naturalisation and Marriage
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2018