Home Affairs officials are heartless - refugees

Foreign nationals seeking asylum in SA have accused Home Affairs officials of being dismissive.

Refugees marched to Parliament and handed over a memorandum listing their demands to a representative of the speaker on 20 June 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Several foreign nationals, including pregnant women and new mothers, seeking asylum in South Africa said on Wednesday Home Affairs officials treat them with contempt and disdain.

Eyewitness News saw several pregnant women and others with newborns waiting for hours outside the refugee centre on the foreshore on Wednesday.

Several months ago, following a protest, a Western Cape High Court judge compelled the Home Affairs Department to process new asylum seekers' applications and not turn them away.

Indian national and asylum seeker, who will be giving birth in less than two weeks' time, has been trying to renew her papers at the refugee centre.

Despite a doctor's letter stating she needed bed rest and missing her deadline to submit her documents, officials turned her away.

She was ordered to pay R2,500 for being late and her husband said they simply did not have the money.

Another foreign national from the Democratic Republic of Congo adds women are treated with utmost respect in his culture but at Home Affairs officials are dismissive and heartless.