Source: Democratic Alliance (South Africa)
We believe that Section 6(1) (a) of the South African Citizenship Act (88 of 1995) is unconstitutional, and that South Africans are being unlawfully stripped of their right to citizenship when voluntary applying for citizenship of another country. The South African citizenship law needs to change, and the Democratic Alliance is taking legal action to ensure this.
Chapter 20 of the South African Constitution clearly states that, “No citizen may be deprived of citizenship”. In addition to this the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights guarantees an individual’s right to citizenship.
However, Section 6.1 of the Citizenship Act reads that (1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), a South African citizen shall cease to be a South African citizen if- (a) he or she whilst not being a minor, by some voluntary and formal act other than marriage, acquires the citizenship or nationality of a county other than the Republic.
Even though the Citizenship Act provides that one can apply to retain citizenship PRIOR to acquiring foreign citizenship, this is very poorly communicated and often misunderstood, resulting in thousands of South Africans unknowingly being stripped of their citizenship, without any notice.
This can be a very traumatic experience, especially for those who plan to return to South Africa, the home of their birth, but can only do so as “foreign citizens”.
As such, the Democratic Alliance has applied to the High Court of the Republic to have Section 6.1 declared unconstitutional and, in addition, to reinstate South African citizenship to all those from whom it was unlawfully stripped.
The DA Abroad welcomes this action and will be following the Court case closely with the intention of keeping South Africans abroad informed of its progress.
South Africans around the world, and in South Africa, may voluntarily take on citizenship of a foreign country for a range of reasons and there is no justifiable reason why they should subsequently and often without their knowledge, lose their South African citizenship.