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Children born abroad with a South African parent have right to citizenship

28 July 2020 6:16 PM
Tags:
Constitutional Court
Lawyers for Human Rights
Children born abroad

Lawyers for Human Rights head of statelessness project Liesl Muller says you inherit the citizenship of your parent.

According to a Ground-up article, children born in other countries are entitled to South African citizenship as long as one parent is South African, the Constitutional Court has ruled.

A seven-year legal battle is finally over and the court has ruled that the Department of Home Affairs must immediately recognise as citizens Yamika Chisuse, born in 1989 in Malawi; Martin Ambrose, born in 1970 in Zimbabwe; Amanda Tilma, born in 1969 in Zimbabwe; and Emma Dullart, born in 2006 in Accra.

The ruling by the court has cleared up any confusion about the country’s citizenship by descent laws, which was interpreted by Home Affairs to mean that nobody born in other countries after 2013 qualified for citizenship, irrespective of whether their parents were South Africans.

Joanne Joseph of Afternoon Drive speaks to Lawyers for Human Rights head of statelessness project Liesl Muller for more on this.

One of the applicants was born to a South African citizen who was in exile. He was in Lesotho at the time of her birth and he returned with her at a later stage when she was about three years old and she stayed with her grandmother and five aunts in South Africa.

Liesl Muller, Head of statelessness project - Lawyers for Human Rights

When I received this case back in 2013 I approached the Department of Home Affairs on many occasions, saying the child is a child of a South African citizen and the child is, therefore, a South African citizen by descent.

Liesl Muller, Head of statelessness project - Lawyers for Human Rights

The South African law has always included citizenship through blood, so if you are born to a South African citizen you inherit the citizenship of your parent.

Liesl Muller, Head of statelessness project - Lawyers for Human Rights

Listen below for the full interview ...


28 July 2020 6:16 PM
Tags:
Constitutional Court
Lawyers for Human Rights
Children born abroad

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