SA couple makes refugee bid in Canada

2014-09-22 09:31


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Cape Town - A white South African couple who fear genocide and rape in their home country can continue with their bid for asylum, a Canadian Federal Court has reportedly ruled.

Charl and Naira Nel have not directly been victims of crime in South Africa but claim they fear they would be targeted because of their skin colour, the Times reported.

They left South Africa in 2010 with their daughter, reported Canada’s National Post, and applied for refugee status in Canada.

They told the country’s Immigration and Refugee Board that they were becoming increasingly afraid because, since they left South Africa, Genocide Watch, an organisation that apparently monitors genocide around the world, had upgraded the risk of targeted violence whites in South Africa.

They also cited President Jacob Zuma's singing of struggle song ''shoot the Boer'' at an ANC event two years ago as a reason for their fear of returning to South Africa.

Last year the IRB rejected their claim causing them to go to the Canadian Federal Court. The court’s Justice John O’Keefe overturned the board’s ruling.

The judge said the IRB’s ruling was “puzzling” and showed a “serious misunderstanding of the law”.

The couple is being represented by the same lawyer who worked for Brandon Huntley, a white South African who also sought refugee status in Canada after claiming he had been assaulted by black South Africans.

The board granted Huntley refugee status in 2009 but the decision was found to be "unreasonable" on judicial review.

According to the Times, from 2006 to June 2014, 151 South Africans have applied for asylum but only 23 applications were accepted.

Read more on:    canada  |  crime

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