SA slams door on Zimbos


CAPE TOWN — Concerns have been raised that South Africa could tighten screws on its policy on Zimbabwean asylum-seekers following the recent elections in that country being declared free and fair by regional powers.

West Cape News

Refugee rights group People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (Passop) said it was worried that currently 99% of Zimbabwean asylum-seekers’ applications were being rejected.

The organisation suggested that the endorsement of July 31 elections in Zimbabwe by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) in its final report released last Monday, would have “very serious implications” on new asylum-seeker applicants from Zimbabwe.

But Lunga Ngqengelele, spokesperson for South African Home Affairs minister Naledi Pandor, said they were not going to change their policy.

He said they would continue to assist Zimbabweans as usual, highlighting that the United Nations had the mandate to decide which country could change their policy on refugees and asylum-seekers.

In response, Passop’s community outreach officer Antony Muteti said it was “a surprise” that Home Affairs would play by UN rules when it came to refugees after they had defied several High Court orders to reopen the Cape Town refugee reception centre to newcomers.

Muteti said the endorsement of the elections as free and fair by Sadc and South Africa could leave new and genuine asylum-seekers with little ground to stake their claims.

Humphrey Vambe, a Zimbabwean independent political analyst living in Cape Town, said during previous elections many asylum-seekers from that country claimed to be victims of political violence and intimidation.

He said the recent election poll meant that would likely no longer be the case, suggesting that many Zimbabweans in South Africa were economic migrants.

As economic migrants, the approximately 300 000 Zimbabwean who benefited from South Africa’s special dispensation programme in 2010/11 would need to have their work permits renewed when they expire in 2015, he said.

James Chapman, attorney at the University of Cape Town Law Clinic, said “one incident” (the elections) could not immediately change the situation.

However, he said President Robert Mugabe’s anti-gay vitriol could see more asylum-seekers coming into South Africa.

He said each asylum-seeker application should be treated separately.

Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, head of the refugee and migrant rights programme at Lawyers for Human Rights in Johannesburg, said South Africa had an international responsibility to assess each asylum-seeker application on its individual merit.

She said a policy change was possible, but they would only know when their clients start complaining.


  1. ‘However, he said President Robert Mugabe’s anti-gay vitriol could see more asylum-seekers coming into South Africa.’
    Hey, is this a suggestion to say Zimbabweans are a nation of Gays?? Please…

    • No Taurai. He mentioned one among the many reasons, those who are suspected to be MDC-T supporters are having their homes burnt right now after ‘free and fair’ elections, imagine. Soon SA will be flooded with Zimbos, wait and see.

    • “But Lunga Ngqengelele, spokesperson for South African Home Affairs minister Naledi Pandor, said they were not going to change their policy”

      I think the above statement by the authorities in South Africa rubbishes the entire framing of this pathetic report. Hapana nyaya apa.

  2. South Africa is a sovereign state and they have the right to do what they want in their country. its time zimbabweans in that country came back home because we cant have people not voting in the name of being out of the country. its time to stand up and be counted. just come back home and use your vote.

  3. gara ikoko iwewe black crow uvhote kusvika waguta,people from other countries can vote from wherever they are why not zimbabweans

  4. Most ppe relocatie to RSA for economic reasons and not political which is given as the problem. This country has always been part of RSA since the 19th century although the Rhodies refused to formally join. Remember Lobengula’s sons went to school down there and on their return formed Highlanders football club. Most of our founding fathers went to rsa for further education and economic reasons , eg the late Nyagumbo. It seems we will remain rsa 5th province even if deny as the Rhodies did.

  5. Zita renyika rekuti Zimbabwe rinondi bhowa chaizvo. Chiyi chinonzi “Zimbabwe”? Iye zvino vechidiki vave kuti tinonzi ma “Zimbos”, ndochii ichocho? Tinofanirwa kuchinja zita renyika ne kuti Zimbabwe haireve chinhu. Izita rakasiwa ne mabhunu vaitadza kuti “Zimbaremabwe”. Zvino nyika inganzi “zimbaremabwe”?

  6. Why do we look and sound stupid when it comes to the issues of Sovereign yenyika yedu….Zimbabwe. Some of our people have no Zimbabwe at heart……Even if ukagara kudiaspora my dear, you remain a Zimbabwe by origin….Don’t full yourself hama innyika yedu Zimbabwe

  7. Zimbabwe is not a sovereignty country remember this country is using a US$ How can a country be sovereignty without its currency This country is an extension of RSA and America

  8. @Teurai ..This practice of peddling falsehoods to tarnish the country’s image sometimes reaches maddening proportions, Teurai dont lie, we stay with KNOWN MDC supporters and socialise with SENIOUR party members everyday….if its to pliz a paymaster, yu are going overboard. Last weekend I attended a relative’s funeral whose son is an elected (MDC)MP.ZANU PF and MDC supporters were grieving together, embracing openly.. One expects an iota of patriotism in yu…wavakupenga here?

  9. Pakatangwa ana NDP kuma 1959 the future black-ruled country had no name. It was only after Michael Mawema, who was from Fort Victoria now Masvingo where Great Zimbabwe is, came up with the phrase “Our country Zimbabwe”. We laughed at the choice of name but surprisingly enough it caught on. But he was beaten up by thugs for coming up with this name. It is meaningless, a corruption by the whites who could not pronounce “Zimbaremabwe”

  10. Michael Mawema first said “Zimbabweland” but changed it to “Zimbabwe” when he formed his short-lived party called Zimbabwe National Party. The name Zimbabwe was not universally accepted by the other nationalists and Mawema was beaten up for coining the word “Zimbabwe”! Incidentally, Mawema was related to Eddison Zvobgo.

  11. Why should be people run away from problems in their country, I promise you these are Baba Jukwa fans that cry foul when elections do not go their way. How do you expect the elections to go your way when you do not vote and how do you expect to vote when you are not in your constituency or ward plus you are not paying any taxes in Zim. So RSA and others should tighten their screws so all Zimbos come back and sort out the mess we are in. We do not want cowards who bark while miles away from the enemy. Surprisingly you are the first to cry foul because you get told what you want to hear by those you are sending money to.

  12. Dzokai kumusha muzogadzira nyika yenyu. Unemployment is VERY high in South Africa so they just can’t have an open-door policy 24×7. When chips are down, you look after your own people. Why do we conveniently forget that we sent home thousands of Mozambiquans at one point in history? Tichivasveveredza sembwa yaba nyama nekuvati Makarushu, what goes round!!!!

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