White SA family refused asylum

2013-03-17 13:00

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Johannesburg - A white South African family has lost their court bid for asylum in the US, the Sunday Times reports.

The family, a couple with two children originally from Durban, claimed they were in danger in South Africa because another family member had been racist and his victims wanted revenge.

"This is not about black versus white. It's about them being specific targets of retribution from victims of another person's racism," the family's lawyer Errol Horwitz told the newspaper.

He said the family's paternal grandfather had allegedly abused his employees at a construction company in South Africa.

His daughter-in-law testified in US courts that, as a result of his alleged racism, her dog was poisoned, human faeces thrown at their home, she was threatened, and her daughter was the victim of an attempted kidnapping.

However, this week, a request for a new appeal hearing was turned down by three judges of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Previously the court had ruled that since the grandfather had retired, there would be no credible threat against the family.

The family has spent 15 years involved in various court actions to try and gain asylum. Horwitz said the children were likely to gain US residency through other legal avenues.

However the parents were now "effectively undocumented migrants. The family is devastated by this decision."

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