Asylum Status of President Jean Bertrand Aristide of Haiti in South Africa

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO 42

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 2 OF 28 MAY 2004

MR DHM GIBSON TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

(1) Whether Mr Jean Bertrand Aristide has applied for asylum in South Africa; if not, (a) why is Mr Aristide being allowed entry into South Africa and (b) in terms of which legislative provisions is Mr Aristide being allowed entry and residence in South Africa; if so, (i) on what date was the application received and (ii) what decision has been taken regarding that application;
(2) whether the visitor status given to Mr Aristide is for a fixed period; if not, why not: if so, what are the dates between which Mr Aristide will be allowed to remain in South Africa;
(3) whether the provisions of the Refugee Act, 1998 (Act No 130 of 1998), which prohibit access to South Africa by persons suspected or guilty of human rights abuses and criminal activities, have been strictly observed in allowing Mr Aristide entry into South Africa; if not, why not; if so, what legal advice did the Government obtain regarding the legality of allowing Mr Aristide to reside in South Africa;
(4) whether the Government has requested France and / or America to provide funds to cover the cost of Mr Aristide's stay in South Africa; if not, (a) why not and (b) what is the total estimated cost per month of hosting Mr Aristide; if so what amount (i) was requested from and (ii) has been granted by these countries to assist in covering the cost of Mr Aristide's stay;
(5) whether South Africa will incur any cost in respect of transporting Mr Aristide to South Africa; if not, who will bear the cots; if so, (a) what provision is being made to transport Mr Arsitide to South Africa and (b) what is the total estimated cost involved? N44E

REPLY:

(1) President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has not applied for asylum in South Africa.

President Aristide, his family and aids will be treated as Foreign Distinguished Guests of
the State. The admission of President Aristide and his family are dealt with in terms of
Section 31(2)(a) of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002.

(3) Kindly see (1).

(4) Cabinet received a formal request from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) through the Chairperson of the African Union (AU), President Joachim Chissano, for South Africa to accommodate President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti in our country.

The South African Government acceded to t his request. We did not think it appropriate to ask somebody else to pay.

(5) We do not know. He was transported by courtesy of the South African Defence Force.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This section should include additional information especially in the case of ORAL REPLIES, where Members of Parliament has the option to ask 3 / 4 supplementary questions related to the question. This part will not be submitted as part of the reply handed in to Parliament. I.E. not for publication. The discussion section should not exceed 3 pages.

 

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