SA govt objects to "criminal racial discrimination" claim

Response to residency application by South African citizen in Ireland

South African Government Response to an Application for Residency Status in Ireland lodged by a South African

Pretoria- The South African government rejects the reasons given by Ms Jefferson, a South African, in her application for residency status in Ireland namely that she fears "criminal racial discrimination" if she were to return to the country and that she feels "she is at a greater risk" to be the victim of crime (see here).

This is untrue and inaccurate to suggest that crime is racially motivated and that a particular section of the South African society is more likely to be exposed to crime than any other. The South African government has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to provide safety and security to all South Africans, black and white, and not only to a select section of its population.

South Africa enjoys sound bilateral relations with the Republic of Ireland, and respects the legal and administrative framework and processes in the country, as well as the decision by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service to refuse Ms Jefferson's application for a resident's card.

It is regrettable and disappointing that the applicant, Ms Jefferson suggested that she may be a target of "criminal racial discrimination" in her appeal lodged with the Dublin High Court, choosing to pass judgment on an entire country, without establishing and familiarising herself with the facts and reality of South African society.

The applicant's unsubstantiated claims and suggestions are nothing but an attempt to tarnish the integrity of all South Africans, black and white, and to damage the country's reputation.

While South Africa faces many developmental challenges, insinuations that crime is racially-based are inaccurate.

Since 1994, millions of South Africans, black and white, have been contributing towards a transformed society and are continuously striving to rebuild a country that was affected by centuries of oppression and racial discrimination.

Government puts on record that South Africa is firmly committed to ensuring that all its citizens live and enjoy a safe and secure environment.

Statement issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, October 9 2009

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