Woman detained at SA airport for 37 days

Johannesburg - A Chinese woman was detained in a small room at the Cape Town International Airport for 37 days after being denied entry to South Africa, the Cape Argus reported on Wednesday.

Meizhu Chen, 36, a shop manager in the Eastern Cape, and her husband returned to South Africa on October 5 after attending a funeral in China, according to papers filed in the Western Cape High Court.

Only her husband was allowed to enter the country.

The immigration official’s diary entry showed there was a suspicion that her work permit had been tampered with, making it invalid.

She was kept in a small room and visits by her husband were forbidden.

Also see:  5 steps for dealing with immigration issues
On October 7, her attorneys launched an application to stop her from being sent back to China and to have a review of her entry to the country.

On November 4, the court ordered the home affairs department to permit her entry, subject to conditions and pending the outcome of the review application.

Home Affairs has applied for leave to appeal the decision.

Her attorney Craig Smith said a week later the conditions had not been determined and Chen had still not been allowed entry.

On Monday, the department was ordered to comply with the court order and pay the costs of the application.

Chen was allowed into the country that night and has to report to the department daily.

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