Motsoaledi frees gay Ugandan couple after arrest in KZN

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08/29/2021

Durban – Home Affairs Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi and the department’s director-general Livhuwani Makhode have released a Ugandan couple detained for being in South Africa illegally due to their sexual orientation. Motsoaledi and Makhode were ordered to release Herbert Mafadi and Luzake Musana last month after they approached the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg to demand their release. The couple told the high court they would face persecution in their country and they should be allowed to remain in South Africa. Motsoaledi’s spokesperson Siyabulela Qoza confirmed the department had complied with the judgment ordering the couple’s release. South Gauteng High Court Judge Margaret Victor ruled in favour of Mafadi and Musana in their bid to remain in South Africa. Mafadi and Musana fled Uganda in November last year and entered South Africa through Zimbabwe unofficially, according to Judge Victor’s ruling. They were arrested in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal, in April for violating the Immigration Act. Mafadi and Musana faced the threat of deportation following a criminal trial that found against them. The couple pleaded guilty at the Nongoma Magistrate’s Court and were willing to return to the east African country. However, Judge Victor doubted the couple knew the consequences of their decision. ”There is no evidence to suggest the applicants (Mafadi and Musana) understood and were aware of their legal rights sufficient to amount to a genuine waiver,” reads the judgment.

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