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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scalabrini Centre, Miranda Madikane, email@example.com
UTRS, Alice Wamundiya, firstname.lastname@example.org
Trauma Centre, Valvi Le Roux, email@example.comDRCASA, Mr. Somwe, firstname.lastname@example.org
Adonis Musati, Janice Spargo, email@example.com
SAMGI, Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cape Centre for Children, Families and Refugees in Distress, Mr. Andre Mabula, email@example.com
Mubasa Diaspora, Sudi Kapangura, firstname.lastname@example.org
ADRO, Anaclet Mbayagu, email@example.com
Amity Centre for Peace and Economic Reintegration, Nzwaki Qeqe,