Dlamini-Zuma Welcomes Canada’s Decision On Huntley

Dlamini-Zuma welcomes Canada's decision on Huntley

The Canadian government has asked the federal court to overturn a tribunal decision to grant South African Brandon Huntley refugee status.

By Staff Reporter
Times Live
Oct 21, 2009 1:16 PM |

Home Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has welcomed the decision by Canadian immigration authorities to review the decision to grant Brandon Huntley asylum following his claims of racial discrimination in South Africa.

A tribunal earlier this year gave Huntley refugee status, saying the SA government could not protect him from racial persecution.The Canadian government has now asked the federal court to overturn the tribunal decision to grant South African Brandon Huntley refugee status.

The tribunal based its decision on an erroneous finding of fact that it made … without regard to the material before it, the immigration ministers lawyer, John H Simms, QC, reportedly said.

Huntley, who grew up in Mowbray, Cape Town, said he had been attacked seven times by blacks and was called a white dog and a settler. It emerged that none of the incidents had been reported to the police.

Zuma said: The South African government welcomes and supports the recommendation by Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to the Federal Court to review the immigration and refugee boards decision to grant Huntley refugee status based on his race.

The government appreciates the finding by the Canadian government that Huntleys claims were not supported by credible evidence.

This decision bears testimony to the strong bilateral political relations between our two countries. The South African government will await the results of the review process, she added.

Earlier Huntley's lawyer, Russell Kaplan, said that he is a human-rights lawyer who emigrated to Canada 20 years ago to escape the apartheid government's discrimination against black South Africans.

Kaplan told The Times that Huntley had been attacked seven times in South Africa by black people who called him a “settler” and a “white dog”.

Kaplan's sister, Lara, who emigrated to Canada last year, testified about the torture and murder of her other brother, Robert, by robbers in South Africa in 1997. Both Lara and Huntley gave evidence in camera in a full-day hearing on August 18.

Between 30 and 40 newspaper clippings were presented as evidence of life in South Africa.

“One article exhibited was published in [the Daily Sun in 2004] by Africa Ka Mahamba. [It was] entitled 'Taking from whites is not a crime',” Kaplan said.

The article quotes the leader of the “Uhuru cultural club” as telling youngsters who attended a Human Rights Day celebration to steal from whites because “it is the right thing to do”.

“The judgment was a direct criticism of the South African government,” Kaplan said.

He said that affirmative action and black economic empowerment were two of the aspects that were taken into account in considering Huntley's application for refugee status in Canada. “These legislated policies, even though there is an explanation for them, are discriminatory.”

Huntley first went to Canada on a six-month work permit in 2004, working as a carnival attendant. He returned in 2005, staying on illegally.



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