Last year the Democratic Alliance launched an application in the Johannesburg High Court to challenge section 6(1)(a) of the South African Citizenship Act 88 of 1995 (the Act) which we deem to be unconstitutional. The government’s response was that the many hundreds of South Africans who are losing their citizenship every year are doing so by personal choice. We know this not to be true, and now we need your help to prove this!
Our court application was initiated after we heard stories from a multitude of former South African citizens living abroad who, through no fault of their own, have been automatically stripped of their South African citizenship when they apply for foreign citizenship. This because they are required by the law to apply for a “Letter of Retention” in advance, giving them prior permission from the Minister of Home Affairs to retain their citizenship.
Many of these former citizens even approached South African embassies for advice on dual citizenship beforehand but were given the wrong advice by embassy officials.
The DA believes that section 6(1)(a) of the Act is inconsistent with the Constitution, and with section 20 of the Constitution in particular, which states that “No citizen may be deprived of citizenship”. Not only does section 6(1)(a) unreasonably violate this right by depriving citizens of citizenship, but it does so without even affording them any notice.
For these reasons, the DA has the launched the necessary legal action, which will not only strike down section 6(1)(a) but will also establish a means for former citizens to reclaim their South African citizenship.
A copy of the DA’s founding papers, and the government’s response, are available to download here:
Court Application (.pdf)
Notice to Oppose (.pdf)
In response to our court application the Acting Director-General of Home Affairs, Thulani Mavuso, filed an answering affidavit setting out the government’s defence. arguing that those former South African citizens who lost their citizenship chose to lose their citizenship and wanted to do so.
The DA believes that this claim is not only factually incorrect but is unjust and unfair to the many former South Africans who have experienced the pain and trauma of losing their citizenship against their wishes and without their knowledge.
In order to contest the government’s claims and succeed in our court challenge we need evidence from all former South African citizens who have unknowingly lost their citizenship.
If you want to make a difference, to change the law and to protect future citizens who may, like you, lose their South African citizenship against their wishes and/or knowledge, please complete this short survey >> https://www.da.org.za/campaigns/loss-of-citizenship-court-challenge/
It should only take about 10 – 15 min to complete, and will provide the evidence necessary for our court challenge.
The results from this survey will be collated and presented to the court. But these results will only be convincing if as many people as possible complete the survey. It is therefore vital that everyone who has lost their citizenship participates in this survey.
Please only complete this survey only if you are a citizen of a foreign country and believe that you might have lost your South African citizenship. If you have not yet received a letter confirming your loss of citizenship, or you are unsure that you have lost your citizenship then please also complete the survey.
If you are a former South African citizen, and you did – as the government claims – choose to give up your citizenship, please also participate in the survey. Your views and experiences are of equal importance to the court.
Please note that your details will only be used to challenge section 6(1)(a) of the South African Citizenship Act 88 of 1995 (the Act). You will only receive further communication from the DA about the campaign if you consent to this and provide your contact details at the end of the survey.
The survey will be running until 31 August 2019. Please spread the word to anyone who may have been affected by this issue!
You can also help support our campaign by donating important funds to support our court challenge.
Please contribute urgently.
We will fight this with everything we have but we need you to stand with us! Thank you for your support.
(Please note for anyone who completed the previous survey which was hosted on Google Forms, your submission is still valid and you don’t need to redo your submission on the new survey hosted on the DA’s website. All data submitted to us via both forums will be held securely and only shared with the courts if requested.)