Woman detained at Cape Town airport for 37 days

2014-11-12 10:32

A Chinese woman was detained in a small room at the Cape Town International Airport for 37 days after being denied entry to South Africa.

Meizhu Chen (36), a shop manager in the Eastern Cape, and her husband returned to South Africa on October 5 after attending a funeral in China, The Cape Argus reported.

Only her husband was allowed to enter the country, according to papers filed in the Western Cape High Court.

The immigration official’s diary entry showed there was a suspicion that her work permit had been tampered with, making it invalid.

She was kept in a small room and visits by her husband were forbidden.

On October 7, her attorneys launched an application to stop her from being sent back to China and to have a review of her entry to the country.

On November 4, the court ordered the home affairs department to permit her entry, subject to conditions and pending the outcome of the review application.

The department has applied for leave to appeal the decision.

Her attorney Craig Smith said a week later the conditions had not been determined and Chen had still not been allowed entry.

On Monday, the department was ordered to comply with the court order and pay the costs of the application.

Chen was allowed into the country that night and has to report to the department daily.

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