M&G made a Brief error
It is very unfortunate that the Mail & Guardian reported that a home affairs official tore up the passport of a 16-year-old from Zimbabwe (In Brief, November 2). As far as I know, this has not been established as fact.
It’s also not correct to report that a home affairs official appeared in court this week. No official appeared in court in this regard.
On October 31, GroundUp published an update in which it shared comment received from home affairs, contrary to the belief of the unnamed “experts” in the M&G’s piece, who allege, figuratively or otherwise, that “a year is but a day in the department’s schedule”.
Occasionally, we receive media inquiries from the M&G. To the best of our ability, these are attended to. Where sufficient time was required to investigate, or to seek guidance from relevant business units, an extension was accordingly requested. This was the case also in respect of the media inquiry we received from GroundUp, which obliged, by the way. As explained to GroundUp, from which the M&G sourced its report, the department received a notice of motion. It noted allegations made against certain officials and it will be filing its papers in due course.
Without venturing into the merits, we should, at the very least, ask: Why would the child be asked “to apply for a German study visa” as reported in the M&G? GroundUp itself says the child has been at Zonnebloem Nest High School in South Africa.
South African authorities can only issue study visas for study in this country. I think it would assist to familiarise ourselves first with the issues before drawing conclusions or apportioning blame.
In the manner that your report is constructed, a reader may be pardoned for thinking this whole matter is about the fictitious court appearance of an official. — ■ The M&G’s brief account, in its round-up of the week’s news, was drawn from GroundUp, and we were inaccurate in that we did not make it clear that these were allegations made against home affairs and not established fact. We apologise for the error.
Newsworthy: A reader questions why the horrors of the civil war in Yemen, such as the recent bombing of a bus carrying children, do not make the headlines.