Delay doesn't disqualify asylum application – ConCourt
Publish date: 07 January 2019
Issue Number: 805
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
A delay in applying for asylum in SA does not disqualify such an application, the Constitutional Court has ruled, according to Business Day. The question the court had to answer was whether a prospective asylum seeker should be allowed to apply for asylum at any time they express an intention to do so, even when they have delayed the application. It also looked at whether an asylum seeker who has been convicted of a crime committed in SA, is barred from applying for asylum. In a unanimous judgment, it overturned a ruling by the SCA on the matter. In the judgment, penned by Justice Edward Cameron, the court held that the only grounds on which an application may be refused were those set out in the Refugees Act itself. It emphasised, however, that delay may still be relevant in evaluating the authenticity of the applicant’s claim. It also made it clear that the Refugees Act was the only pertinent statute to determine who may seek asylum and who is entitled to refugee status.