General's refugee status bid hits snag

2012-10-30 22:42
Faustin Kayumba Nyamwas (Picture: AFP)

Faustin Kayumba Nyamwas (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - A court application challenging the South African refugee status of a former Rwandan army chief has hit a legal snag which might cause a lengthy delay in the proceedings.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday heard legal argument about the admissibility of a document that the home affairs department and former Rwandan general Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa wanted to introduce as evidence in the application.

This was after counsel for the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in SA (CoRMSA) concluded legal argument in the main application to set aside the decision to grant refugee status to Nyamwasa.

Anton Katz SC, for CoRMSA, argued that Nyamwasa should never have been considered for refugee status because he was suspected of committing war crimes.

He argued that Nyamwasa appeared to have applied for, and to have been granted, refugee status within the space of one day, which was irrational and unlawful.

Counsel for home affairs, Marumo Moerane SC, argued that the court should allow Nyamwasa's asylum seeker permit as an exhibit, as it contained evidence which was necessary to dispose of the main application.

He said the document provided incontrovertible proof that Nyamwasa had already applied for asylum status on 1 March 1 2010, months before being granted refugee status on 22 June that year.

He said CoRMSA's lawyers were "making a mountain out of a molehill" because they had misread a sentence in the respondent's (home affairs' and Nyamwasa's) answering affidavit and "opportunistically" latched on to it.

Nyamwasa's lawyer, Nic Potgieter, said his client had never mentioned a date on which he applied for asylum and now wanted to clear up the issue.

CoRMSA's junior counsel Max du Plessis argued the government should not be allowed to simply ignore the rules of court, as it would set a dangerous precedent.

He said the document had always been available and the respondents could not explain why it was not included in the answering affidavits from the start.

The document did not take the case any further and far from clearing anything up, only added to the confusion as it appeared to suggest unlawfulness on the part of the government, he added.

"This is not an ordinary litigant. This is the government... One of the applicant's [CoRMSA's] central complaints is that the respondents have hidden behind confidentiality.

"What we have been faced with throughout the litigation was a strategy of foot-dragging and playing possum. We struggled to get an answer out of them for months... The respondents' conduct is at odds with the constitutional principles of openness and accountability and falls to be condemned... They only want to present this slither of evidence without disclosing its context," Du Plessis said.

Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi reserved judgment on whether the court should allow home affairs to introduce the document.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cormsa  |  faustin kayumba nyamwasa  |  rwanda  |  johannesburg  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Zuma extends Seriti Inquiry

2014-10-31 22:34
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be some tension that is caused through social conflicts -- personal interests versus obligations. You may feel an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.