CoRMSA considers options in Nyamwasa asylum case

Last year a high court ruled that Nyamwasa is entitled to refugee status despite alleged links to war crimes.

Rwanda's former army chief General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Lawyers challenging South Africa's decision to grant asylum to former Rwandan General Kayumba Nyamwasa are considering their legal options after being denied permission to appeal a previous court ruling.

Migrant lobby group CoRMSA was yesterday denied leave to appeal a Pretoria High Court ruling last year, that Nywamwasa is entitled to refugee status after he fled his home five years ago.

In 2011, a military court in Rwanda sentenced four former top officials, including Nyamwasa, to long prison terms for threatening state security and propagating ethnic divisions.

He was also allegedly implicated by French and Spanish authorities in war crimes.

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre's Angela Mudukuti says, "The South African Refugees Act is very clear that if there's reason to believe you've implicated in a crime against peace or involved in war crimes you are ineligible to refugee status.

"So the position is that he is ineligible for refugee status because of the suspicion that he perpetrated crimes against humanity and war crimes."

Nyamwasa survived an assassination attempt in Johannesburg in 2010.