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ANALYSIS | Why SA's legal framework for refugees and asylum seekers is inadequate

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A young refugee holding a toothbrush outside the Central Methodist Mission Church in Cape Town, pictured in January.
A young refugee holding a toothbrush outside the Central Methodist Mission Church in Cape Town, pictured in January.
Jan Gerber

For once, political point-scoring actually had a positive effect: It highlighted the need to improve South Africa's legal framework for refugees and asylum seekers - to ensure that destitute people don't fall through the cracks caused when bureaucracies clash, writes parliamentary reporter Jan Gerber.  

It's a phenomenon as old as humanity itself – people moving across the globe for their survival. And humans aren't the only animals doing it. One could say immigration is a biological imperative.

And yet, immigrants fleeing persecution and hardship - more often than not – are met with cold-heartedness and brutality. 

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