“PAY DAY” FOR ILLEGAL FOREIGNERS Rahim v The Minister of Home Affairs (965/2013)  ZASCA 92 (29 May 2015)
Keywords:illegal immigrants, damages, holding facility, non-citizens, claims
People from across the African continent continue to make their way to South Africa to escape violence and poverty in their own countries. South Africa is also seen as a beacon of stability and economic growth on the continent. There has been growing concern that the illegal influx of foreigners in search of a better life, and the failure by the South African Government to control its porous borders, have led to a high degree of animosity and resentment, directed at foreigners. International law and South African law affirm that South Africa is a constitutional state that subscribes to the principle of legality, an incident of the rule of law. It is against this backdrop that The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) handed down a landmark ruling in Rahim v The Minister of Home Affairs ((965/2013)  ZASCA 92 (29 May 2015)), where the Court awarded damages to illegal immigrants who were illegally held by the Department of Home Affairs, following a failure by the Department to designate a proper holding facility for non-citizens in South Africa. One of the implications of this judgment is that the Department will have to conduct a proper determination of holding facilities so as not to be liable for claims such as the one in the present case.
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