CAMPAIGN UPDATE – 28 August 2018:
We have received confirmation today that the Minister of Home Affairs and the Director General for the Department of Home Affairs intends to oppose our application to challenge the constitutionality of Section 6.1 of the Citizenship Act. We are now waiting for their answering affidavit.
The DA will not be deterred by this response and are committed to proceeding with our application.
We believe that Section 6(1) (a) of the South African Citizenship Act (88 of 1995) is unconstitutional, and that South Africans are being unlawfully stripped of their right to citizenship when voluntary applying for citizenship of another country. The South African citizenship law needs to change, and the Democratic Alliance is taking legal action to ensure this.
Chapter 20 of the South African Constitution clearly states that, “No citizen may be deprived of citizenship”. In addition to this the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights guarantees an individual’s right to citizenship.
However, Section 6.1 of the Citizenship Act reads that (1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), a South African citizen shall cease to be a South African citizen if- (a) he or she whilst not being a minor, by some voluntary and formal act other than marriage, acquires the citizenship or nationality of a county other than the Republic.
Even though the Citizenship Act provides that one can apply to retain citizenship PRIOR to acquiring foreign citizenship, this is very poorly communicated and often misunderstood, resulting in thousands of South Africans unknowingly being stripped of their citizenship, without any notice.
This can be a very traumatic experience, especially for those who plan to return to South Africa, the home of their birth, but can only do so as “foreign citizens”.
As such, the Democratic Alliance has applied to the High Court of the Republic to have Section 6.1 declared unconstitutional and, in addition, to reinstate South African citizenship to all those from whom it was unlawfully stripped.
The DA Abroad welcomes this action and will be following the Court case closely with the intention of keeping South Africans abroad informed of its progress.
South Africans around the world, and in South Africa, may voluntarily take on citizenship of a foreign country for a range of reasons and there is no justifiable reason why they should subsequently and often without their knowledge, lose their South African citizenship.
How you can support this campaign
- You can support this legal action by donating today! Please visit our Givengain page to donate in your currency.
- Please share this article on social media and encourage others to do the same, so those who have lost their SA citizenship are made aware.
What is next?
The court application was duly issued under case number 48418/18 and served on the Minister of Home Affairs and the Director General on 12 July 2018.
We received confirmation on the 28 August that the Minister of Home Affairs and the Director General for the Department of Home Affairs intends to oppose our application to challenge the constitutionality of Section 6.1 of the Citizenship Act. We are now waiting for their answering affidavit.
Ensure you don’t lose your SA citizenship
For more information on how to avoid losing your SA citizenship when applying for foreign citizenship, please read this article.
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