Dutch man ordered to leave SA after 17 years

2013-07-26 10:06
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Cape Town - A Dutch man who has lived in South Africa with his family for 17 years has been ordered by the department of home affairs to leave the country, it was reported on Friday.

Thijs Van Hillegondsberg arrived in the country in 1996 with his wife and then 3-year-old son and live in Strand in the Western Cape, it was reported by community news group GroundUp. He also adopted two South African children.

Since their arrival here, Van Hillegondsberg and his family have struggled to live and work legally in the country.

This week, the department delivered a signed document titled ‘order to illegal foreigner to depart from the republic’. Van Hillegondsberg was ordered to be out of the country by 04 August 2013.

Publi Protector Thuli Madonsela is now trying to get in touch with Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor to find out why the Dutch man cannot stay in South Africa.

In April last year, Madonsela released a report stating that the home affairs department had failed the family and abused its power.

The public protector recommended that the department change the family’s temporary residency status. She urged the department to issue the family permanent residency in South Africa by way of an exemption application, GroundUp reported.

However, Pandor blocked Van Hillegondsberg’s application. He argues that, by law, he should have been awarded permanent residency in 2001 after he became the legal adoptive parent of the two South African children.

The Western Cape home affairs department could not be reached for comment.

Read more on:    home affairs  |  thuli madonsela  |  naledi pandor
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