03 March 2020 – Press Release: Children born of foreign parents receive South African citizenship

Press Release

03 March 2020

Children born of foreign parents receive South African citizenship

CAPE TOWN – Four applicants represented by the Legal Resources Centre in the Miriam Ali and Others V The
Minister of Home Affairs case was today granted their citizenship by the Department of Home Affairs, in Cape

Miriam Ali, Murphy Nganga, Aden Sali, and Caroline Masuki brought an urgent application to the Western Cape
high court in 2017, petitioning for the right to apply for South African Citizenship. Their right was affirmed by the
court, which ruled that they are entitled to apply for citizenship through the South African Citizenship Act 88 of
1995. The court directed the department to accept their application and to decide on the applications within 10
days. However, DHA appealed this decision with the Supreme Court of Appeals. In November 2018, the SCA
upheld the WCHC’s decision, SCA affirmed that ”it is not in the interest of justice and neither is it just and
equitable to send the respondents from pillar to post simply because the Minister has adopted a supine attitude
that the regulations will only be promulgated in due course.” The DHA then approached the Constitutional Court
on basis that the SCA‘s findings that the Minister must accept the respondent’s applications pending the proclamation of Regulations constitute an invasion of the doctrine of separation of powers and amounts to
judicial overreach. In February this year, the court dismissed this appeal, upholding the rulings of the two lower

On 3 March 2020, applications for citizenship by naturalization were lodged with the Department of Home Affairs
(DHA) head office for adjudication within 10 days as per the SCA order by the LRC on behalf of our clients. The
LRC received correspondence from the DHA requesting that the applicants pay an R300 administrative fee at the
closest DHA office.

It is noteworthy that DHA adhered to the SCA order; the applicants received an outcome of their applications on
17 March 2020. The applicants were informed in writing that their application for citizenship by naturalization
in terms of section 4(3) was conditionally approved and requested that they present themselves at the closest
DHA office to take an oath and sign their declaration of allegiance to become a South African Citizen. Subsequently,
they will be issued with a certificate of naturalization which they will each use to complete the various forms
and get their biometrics recorded in order for them to be issued with their 13-digit South African identity number
and get registered on the National Population Register as citizens.

After completing all the formal process at the DHA offices, the applicants had this to say:

“Being approved and acknowledged as a citizenship in my country of birth now makes me feel that my existence
has a purpose.” – Murphy Nganga.

“Finally becoming a South African Citizen means honestly so much to me. It means I can finally start my life and
get things done which were on hold. I am truly honored to call South Africa my official home.”- Miriam Ali.
“Citizenship to me means that I finally have a true identity, a place I can call home, and an abundance of dreams
that I can achieve with the sky being my only limit”- Aden Salih

“This citizenship means that I am finally released from my stateless cage, I can finally soar through the South
African skies and know that I belong, that Aden, Miriam, Murphy and I belong.”- Caroline Masuki

The LRC will continue following up with the Minister of Home Affairs to make regulations for section 4(3)
citizenship by naturalization application which has to be promulgated within a year in terms of part two of the
SCA order.

For more information, please contact:
Legal Resources Centre
Attorney of Record: Sherylle Dass and Khensani Motileni via email on Sherylle@lrc.org.za /