Home affairs seeks legal advice over asylum of 22 Afghan nationals

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The Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says his department is seeking legal advice regarding the decision of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to grant 22 Afghan nationals entry to the country on asylum transit visas.

The Department of Home Affairs had initially refused entry to the Afghans, who are said to be fleeing from the Taliban.

Motsoaledi says they are wondering if the high court’s decision has opened the floodgates for asylum-seekers.

“We have decided to look for legal advice on what we need to do – because the judgement didn’t say we must give them asylum. They said we must give them permission to get into the country – go the the nearest refugee reception centre and then apply for asylum. All the issues we raised in court, including the fact that they presented a document written in Arabic, which nobody can understand – the judge then said all those will be at the hearing for asylum. We are now starting to ask ourselves – does it mean the floodgates are open? Does it mean that anybody who feels unsafe anywhere – can head to South Africa?” adds Motsoaledi.

Below is the full interview with the Minister: