South Africa: Lost citizens welcomed back by Supreme Court of Appeal

Published: 14/Juin/2023
Source: Ground Up (Cape Town)

The automatic loss of South African citizenship after gaining citizenship of another country has been ruled to be unconstitutional

By Tania Broughton

  • Since 1995, South Africans who gained citizenship of another country lost their South African citizenship automatically.
  • A case brought by the Democratic Alliance challenging this has been successful in the Supreme Court of Appeal.
  • No legitimate purpose for the provision was given by Home Affairs, the court said.

South Africans who automatically lost their citizenship when they took citizenship of another country have been aided by the Supreme Court of Appeal.

The apex court has ruled the relevant section of the South African Citizenship Act to be inconsistent with the Constitution.

In a unanimous ruling, it further ordered that those South Africans who lost their citizenship through the application of the section, since its operation from 1995, “are deemed not have not to have lost their citizenship”.

The challenge to the legislation was brought by the Democratic Alliance, whose arguments were initially dismissed by the Pretoria High Court before being granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

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Themes: Double Nationalité, Perte et déchéance de la nationalité
Regions: Afrique du Sud