ATTENTION ASYLUM SEEKERS:
On 7 June 2016 the LRC received a letter from the attorneys for the Department of Home Affairs informing us that they will be appealing the order granted in our favour on 3 June 2016.
That letter also indicated that the LRC should inform its clients that none of their permits will be extended at the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office (CTRRO) and none of their files will be transferred while the appeal is still pending.
The order given in the Nbaya case ordered the Cape Town RRO to renew the permits of asylum seekers whose permits were first applied for at other RROs (Pretoria, Musina and Durban). It specifically said that the CTRRO must renew the permits of those asylum seekers that had approached the LRC’s offices, and whose names were on a list of over 2 500 people that had been submitted to the court by the LRC. It also said that the CTRRO must do the same for ‘all persons similarly situated’.
If this order was carried out, it would effectively mean that the CTRRO must renew the permit of anyone entitled to a renewal, even if that permit was not first issued in Cape Town.
The letter from the Department of Home Affairs attorneys indicates that the CTRRO will not be doing that.
An appeal can take a number of months as it will more than likely go to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein. It first has to be granted an appeal date in Bloemfontein, then the appeal will have to be attended and argued by both the LRC and the attorneys for the Department. Thereafter, the SCA judges will have to deliver a judgment, which isn’t likely to be on the same day as the appeal hearing.
In the time that it takes for all of that to happen, the fastest and only way that an asylum seeker with a permit first issued outside of Cape Town will be able to renew his or her permit is for that person to travel back to their original RRO and renew their permit there.
In the meantime, the LRC intends applying to the Court for a specific order that says that Home Affairs must implement the order while their appeal is pending. Once this is done, we will update accordingly.