Children born to illegal moms and local dads are SA citizens

Published: 13/Jul/2018
Source: The Star / Independent online (South Africa)

By Bongani Nkosi

Johannesburg – Home Affairs has been ­accused of violating human rights after refusing to grant citizenship to children born to undocumented mothers, but whose fathers are South African. In a scathing judgment delivered at the North Gauteng High Court, Acting Judge Moses Mphaga has ordered the department to “forthwith register the birth” of a 4-year-old child of a Joburg father and a ­Chinese female immigrant whose stay in the country is illegal.

The boy was born at Flora Clinic, near Roodepoort, in 2013. After his birth, Home Affairs officials told the parents that his birth would not be registered due to the mother’s illegal status.

The parents, whose attempts to marry were also barred by Home Affairs, ­believed there was no reason for the department to deny their child citi­zenship because he was born in South Africa, and one parent was a citizen. Judge Mphaga found that the department relied on an “internal policy” adopted in 2014 to block the registration of children born out of such relationships.

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Acquisition by children, Birth Registration
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2018