Source: Business Day (Johannesburg)
Judge looks at loss of citizenship purely on paper and makes little effort to consider how it affects real people
By Stefanie de Saude Darbandi
A recent judgment in the Pretoria high court has dealt a blow to potentially tens of thousands of South Africans living abroad, who were stripped of their SA citizenship when they became citizens of foreign countries.
The case, brought by the DA, argued that section 6(1)(a) of the SA Citizenship Act 88 of 1995 is inconsistent with the constitution in that it violates South Africans’ right to citizenship by automatically stripping them of it if they acquire citizenship of another country.
Judge Jody Kollapen found on August 6 that the constitution differentiated between “loss” and “deprivation” of citizenship and that the act did not deprive South Africans of their citizenship as it made provision for citizens to apply to the department of home affairs to retain their citizenship before they applied for foreign citizenship.