38 refugees being held at Lindela, following UNCHR removal, seek asylum, court hears


The Department of Home Affairs, through its legal representative, has informed the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that it has undertaken the verification process of refugees who were camped outside the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) offices in Pretoria for more than a month.

Arguing before Judge Natvarlal Ranchod on Thursday, the department said 38 verified refugees held at the Lindela Repatriation Centre have indicated they would like to apply for asylum.

The department, City of Tshwane and police were in court, where an order for cost was handed down in relation to an application for the refugees' removal from the UNHCR's offices.

The Waterkloof Homeowners' Association and Brooklyn and Eastern Areas Citizen's Association had sought an order, which was granted, directing the refugees to leave the area.

Handing down judgment last week, Judge Ranchod prohibited the refugees from cooking food, making fires as well as hanging clothing on fences and trees. He also interdicted them from contravening the by-laws and other laws of South Africa, News24 reported.

ALSO READ: Pretoria residents get costs order in refugees interdict application

Judge Ranchod ordered the City and department to report back to him following the removal of the refugees. 

During Thursday's report-back, the department submitted a draft order asking the refugee reception office to issue permits, which would be valid for 14 days, to 38 refugees who have sought asylum.

The draft asked the court to order the asylum seekers to approach refugee offices of their choice within 14 days to apply for asylum.

The department wants the order to specify that the refugees' personal details should not be disclosed to the public and media unless an application has been filed with the courts.

It said it would not be making any decision with regards to the refugees who were facing trespassing charges until court proceedings have been finalised.

More than 180 refugees have been charged after they allegedly forced their way onto the property on November 14 following an order that they be removed from the area. 

The department informed Judge Ranchod that nine women and four children were released from Lindela after making a request and were taken to their preferred destination.

News24 previously reported that 224 women, 169 children and seven men were being held at Lindela. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Are you going to keep wearing a mask following the announcement that it is no longer required under law?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
No ways, I'm done
42% - 3962 votes
Yes, I still want to be cautious
21% - 2019 votes
Only certain circumstances
37% - 3554 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.