World Refugee Day: Protest in Support of Ubuntu!

Join the Protest against the Closure of the Refugee Reception Center Maitland

A protest is being organized to protest the Department of Home Affairs’ (DHA) plan to close Refugee Reception Offices (RROs) in cities and move them to remote border posts. RROs provide essential services for refugees and asylum seekers. Moving them to distant border crossings will have devastating consequences on the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa. At the protest, we also hand-over a Memorandum of Grievances to the Honorable Speaker of Parliament.

When:  Wednesday, 20 June 2012, at 11:00

Where:  Opposite CPUT Cape Town Campus, Technicon (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) Keizergracht Street, Cape Town

Members and partners of several organizations are mobilizing refugees, asylum seekers, all non-nationals and South Africans—everyone fighting for human rights and justice—to join the protest. YOU will make a difference in this effort!
COME IN AFRICAN DRESS!

JOIN THE PROTEST IF YOU WANT:

1. Currently closed RROs to be reopened
2. To see government spending money to help South Africans and refugees alike rather than wasting funds opening RROs at the borders
3. The right for all living in South Africa to have access to documentation
4. To fight for human rights and justice for all people living in South Africa

FOR MORE INFO CONTACT

Jean Claude, 076 243 4841, jlshekinah81@gmail.com
Sandra, 071 953 5378, sandra.holkenberg@gmail.com
Braam Hanekom, 084 319 1764 braam@passop.co.za
Abdikadir Khalif, 079 251 9160, abdiyouw40@hotmail.com

Urgent Information for ALL Asylum Seekers in the Western Cape

Featured

JOINT PRESS STATEMENT

Urgent and important information for asylum seekers in the Western Cape

EVERY UNDOCUMENTED ASYLUM SEEKER
IN WESTERN CAPE MUST PRESENT THEMSELVES
AT MAITLAND REFUGEE RECEPTION CENTRE
WITHIN THE NEXT 19 DAYS

The departments Director General Mr Mvuseli Apleni made it clear, on Friday at a stakeholders briefing, that the Western Cape Refugee Reception Office will no longer be allowing new applications for refugee status beyond the end of June, when the office will relocate to the Foreshore. As civil society we reject this decision as unlawful and unjust. It is regrettable that the department of home affairs has deliberately decided to deny asylum seekers who have not yet been able to submit their applications for refugee status in the Western Cape the right to do so beyond the end of this month.

We wish to make a desperate appeal to all undocumented asylum seekers in the Western Cape to please present themselves at the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office before the end of June. The department has promised that they will write the names of everyone who presents themselves at the centre on a list and “allow” them to be served on a later date. This will be closely monitored and we encourage all who are turned away to approach one of the organizations below for assistance.

We categorically reject the decision to close the refugee office to newcomers as an unlawful and unconstitutional deprivation of the rights of asylum seekers but in the absence of an immediate solution advise all undocumented newcomer asylum seekers to present themselves at the office and have their names recorded on the ‘newcomer lists’ as soon as possible.

We are concerned about the violence that can erupt due to the fact that many asylum seekers have tried in vain to submit their applications at the centre. We thus as stakeholders call upon the media to project this message widely as the department of home affairs has failed to clearly explain this in their media briefings.

For more information contact any of the following organisations:

PASSOP, Braam Hanekom, braam@passop.co.za
Scalabrini Centre, Miranda Madikane, mmadikane@scalabrini.org.za
UTRS, Alice Wamundiya, alice.wamundiya@gmail.com
Trauma Centre, Valvi Le Roux, vvrleroux@gmail.comDRCASA, Mr. Somwe, kjacques7@gmail.com
Adonis Musati, Janice Spargo, adonismusatiproject@gmail.com
SAMGI, Director, director@samgi.org
Cape Centre for Children, Families and Refugees in Distress, Mr. Andre Mabula, ccfrdcape@gmail.com
Mubasa Diaspora, Sudi Kapangura, mubasadiaspora.wc@gmail.com
ADRO, Anaclet Mbayagu, m.anaclet@gmail.com
Amity Centre for Peace and Economic Reintegration, Nzwaki Qeqe,
nzwaki233q@gmail.com

“Perils and Pitfalls” Report Launch

“Perils and Pitfalls:  Migrants and Deportation in South Africa” Report Launch on 5 June 2012

Passop in conjunction with The Solidarity Peace Trust hereby invite you to the launch of our latest joint report and DVD  Documentary called “Perils and Pitfalls.”

This report brings to light the discrepancies between the legal requirements around deportation of migrants and the anomalies in its practical application. It is clear from the findings that South Africa is falling short of its lofty legal standards in the manner that the various government agencies are dealing with this huge challenge. The overall picture of abuse, corruption, lack of capacity, and the neglect of the rule of law in this area is a cause of great concern.

In this matter Zimbabwe represents a particular challenge, with Zimbabweans making up the largest number of migrants in South Africa in the context of the crisis that has engulfed that country for over a decade. The hope that the SADC mediated Global Political Agreement would provide the basis for a long-term stabilization in the country is yet to be fulfilled, and South African leadership in this process remains critical.

For the full report, please click on the links above or click here.

Candlelight Vigil Honouring Victims of Xenophobic Violence A Great Success

PASSOP held our first annual Candlelight Vigil to honour Victims of Xenophobic Violence on May 21, 2012.  In May 2008, 732 people were injured or killed in South Africa when xenophobic violence seized the country. Four years later, hundreds gathered together to listen to the reflections of both the victims and the apologetic perpetrators as they shared their stories.  Community and civil society leaders also spoke, discussing the ways to move forward inside the Idasa House.  After the speeches, everyone lit a candle and walked outside to the Slavery Tree for a moment of silence.

It was an emotional, courageous, moving event that allowed people to reflect on the past and vow to move forward towards a more positive, welcoming, inclusive society.

May 31st Protest Outside the Western Cape Refugee Reception Centre

PRESS STATEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Protest to Demand the Department of Home Affairs Serves ALL people EQUALLY under the law.

Protest on Thursday May 31st

10:30 to 12:00

Outside the Maitland Refugee Reception Centre

 

PASSOP, in conjunction with other civil society groups, will be staging a protest outside the Maitland Refugee Reception Centre on Thursday, May 31st from 10 to 12.   Our protest aims to highlight the following grievances:

  • The ongoing and incessant abuse of asylum seekers by the Department of Home Affairs;
  • Instead of improving services, the Department appears to be denying and ceasing all services to newcomers in several provinces.
  • We are shocked that they have been unwilling to find another venue in which to serve immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the Western Cape.
  • We believe that the Department of Home Affairs plans to permanently close  the Refugee Reception Centre in the Western Cape thereby denying all services to asylum seekers in this province.
  • Without consulting civil society, and without due process, the Department has stated it will close all refugee reception centres in the country, except those at the border thereby denying about 400,000 people the services they are entitled to and so desperately need.


Tomorrow law abiding asylum seekers and immigrants are protesting because they desire to be follow the law; they wish to be given the opportunity to fulfill their legal obligation to apply for asylum.  We are outraged by the actions- past, present and future plans- of the Department of Home Affairs, and we cannot sit in silence over these egregious human rights violations.  We hope you will join us in solidarity and in protest, standing alongside our African Brothers and Sisters, to unite as one voice calling for the Department of Home Affairs to serve ALL people as EQUAL under the law.

For Information, Please Contact:

Koko Guylian 078 5029 626

Langton Miriyoga 084 0269 658

Candlelight Vigil to Honour Victims of Xenophobic Violence


PRESS STATEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Vigil in Memory of those Injured and Killed  in the Xenophobic Violence of May 2008


In May 2008, 62 people were killed and 670 injured in the xenophobic violence that broke out in South Africa. On Tuesday May 22 we invite members of the South African and refugee communities affected by this violence, local leaders and as well as members of non-government organizations- to honour the victims of this xenophobic violence in a candlelight vigil at The Slavery Tree, from 6:00 to 830 pm.  We believe that in the Western Cape this is the most suitable place for us to recognize the injustices of 2008.

We will light 732 candles, one for each person killed or injured in these attacks, to remember our fallen brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and grandparents. These candles will serve as a visual reminder to all that we must unite and create a culture of inclusion in order to prevent this widespread violence from happening again. These candles will also serve to encourage us to never again let hate spread throughout our communities.

Before the lighting of candles and the vigil we will listen to voices of some of those who were displaced followed by input from civil society and leaders present followed by a panel discussion. This panel discussion will take place at The Idasa House, 6 Spin Street.

We will come together, spreading messages of unity and love, celebrating our differences and our diversities in our united battle to overcome xenophobia and xenophobic violence.

For comment:

Braam Hanekom (PASSOP) 084 319 1764

Miranda Madikane  (Scalibrini Centre) 083 380 3572

Fatima Swats  (Healing of Memories) 083 462 0607

 

Press Statement: International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia Celebration

 

PRESS STATEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

PASSOP’s LGBTI Refugee Advocacy Project in conjunction with Triangle Project  celebrate  the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Venue: Community Centre of Observatory
Date: 17th May 2012
Time: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

PASSOP, the Triangle Project, Scalibrini Centre, and Gender Dynamix unite over the rights and challenges the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities face in Cape Town and in South Africa.  These organizations are coming together tomorrow to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

From PASSOP’s work with the LGBTI community it has become clear that exclusion, isolation and loneliness are some of the greatest troubles that sexual refugees endure.

PASSOP, in conjunction with the Triangle Project, will be hosting a four hour workshop to foster better communication between the LGBTI communities and the organizations that serve them.  At this event, we will hear from members within the LGBTI community as they share their stories, concerns and needs with members of their community and with members of civil society.  Other highlights of tomorrow’s workshop include guest speaker Jayne Arnott, the Director of the Triangle Project, and a play written and acted by Khayelisha residents.

We stand united in overcoming the prejudices and difficulties LGBTI refugees face and will steadfastly work to foster a community that includes ALL of its peoples.

 

Press Statement: Board Member Ronnie Kasrils and Amina Frense to celebrate marriage at PASSOP office

Press Statement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Members of the media invited)

Comrades Ronnie Kasrils and Amina Frense will be signing the marriage register at the Wynberg Home Affairs office at 10 am tomorrow on Thursday the 2nd of February.

They have through their lives stood for human rights, for an integrated society free from racism, colonial occupation and dispossession, homophobia, poverty and xenophobia. It is in this light that they have chosen to invite a group of activists to witness the event and celebrate this great union.

As Cde Ronnie Kasrils is a board member of PASSOP (which campaigns on the above issues) they have also decided to hold a small get together after the signing at PASSOP’s office across the street in Wynberg. It is both a privilege and honor to be part of this joyous occasion; they have inspired many activists to stand up for what they believe in and they have great future ahead.

Press Statement: Susan Press Conference

PASSOP is holding Press Conference with ‘Susan Forgives’ at 3pm at IDASA House today, Monday October 10th, 2011.

Press Release – For Immediate Release

CAPE TOWN – In light of the huge costs ahead faced by acid attack victim, “Susan Forgives”, PASSOP and an event company, “Someone’s Getting Fired”, have organised a fundraising event to take place at the Jade Bar and Lounge on Wednesday the 12th of October.

A press conference will be held today at 3pm at IDASA House, 6 Spin St. Cape Town. “Susan” will be in attendance and will give an update on her progress over the last few weeks. Jack Mantis, a local musician who is playing for free in this fundraising event and members of his band will also be present.

We are appealing for support from the media in raising awareness about the event.

For more information please call Chandra Frank 0730551564 Arafat Matovu 0721554147

Press Statement: Protest against xenophobic attacks

Immigrants and South Africans protesting outside court hearing of group arrested for the xenophobic attacks

Monday 10 Oct, 2011; 9am-10am, Seshego Magistrates Court, Polokwane

“We want peace but we also want justice.”

The group on trial, which includes ANC ward councillor, Mrs Tebogo Mojapelo, will be attending their second court hearing. We recognise that the provincial ANC has taken the matter seriously and spoken out, although we had hoped that she would be suspended- until she is either cleared or found guilty.

The horrific violence that occurred led to the displacement of hundreds of Zimbabweans and to the death of at least one person. It was a sad day in which the founding values of the new South Africa were undermined and the spirit of Ubuntu was completely ignored.

We know that the people of Limpopo, Polokwane and specifically those of Seshego have in the past resisted turning on their neighbors and thus hope that the perpetrators who provoked their community are dealt with. They have tarnished the image of not just Seshego but the whole country. We trust that the law will protect those who are innocent, but in turn hold criminals who are guilty to account.

Sadly, despite the ANC stating, “the courts would decide on their councilor’s guilt or innocence”, many ANC members in ANC t-shirts protested outside in the councillors support. We believe that no ANC members should be wearing t-shirts and openly supporting her, as this creates the impression that the ANC has either decided on her innocence or the ANC is standing by her- even if found guilty. This is serious cause for concern, as she is the third case of an ANC councilor being implicated-following those in De Doorns and a case in Durban.

We believe that the ANC has done much work against xenophobia and violence against foreigners, but hope that they ensure that there are no members publicly supporting those accused of xenophobic, violence against foreigners or afrophobic attacks.

We trust that the police have put together a strong case and that the justice system will show that violence against any people will not be tolerated.

The protest is being organised by VOM and PASSOP

For more information of media enquiries please contact:(VOM) Elvis Anusa 078 604 2286 and (PASSOP) Langton Miriyoga 084026965