Court decisions are not known for their strong language. Judicial discourse is, famously, couched in the deepest restraint. And so when five Supreme Court of Appeal justices accuse a senior cabinet minister and his director-general of being “disgraceful”, “unconscionable”, “deliberately obstructive” and “dilatory”, something is up. And, indeed, on reading the judgment I discovered that the words the justices chose were not harsh enough; what has happened is so disgusting and shameful as to beggar belief. The case, DG of Home Affairs vs De Saude Attorneys, concerns 473 people whose attempts to get the department of home affairs to deal with their applications and appeals reached a dead end. They include applications for temporary and permanent resident status, appeals against the rejection of such applications, and so forth — matters it is the department’s everyday business to process. From the court papers, it is apparent that home affairs has simply ceased to function; it can no lo...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.