Following statements made by the African National Congress’s (ANC) head of International Relations, Obed Bapela about the possibility of revoking dual citizenship, home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba said no review has been made on the question of dual citizenship and there are no plans to review it.
A press conference was called on Thursday after the ANC on Monday said it was considering preventing people from holding dual citizenship in a bid to stop South Africans from joining the Israeli Defence Force (IDF).
“The citizenship act was last reviewed in 2009 and we made a provision in the amendment that if you fight for another country, you have chosen a flag and therefore you will lose your South African citizenship,” Minister Gigaba stated in reference to South African citizens join the IDF whilst still retaining their South African citizenship.
The South African ruling party referred to Israel as an “apartheid state” and has shown support for the Palestinian right to self-determination.
The minister emphasises that there will never a time where the government will take an arbitrary decision on this issues and they will always be guided by the constitution.
“We have brought legislation before government, but the issue of citizenship has not arisen,” Minister Gigaba went further.
During his discussion the minister reiterated that there is no review of the citizenship act and there are no plans to review the citizenship act.
“The views made by one person do not necessarily reflect the views of government or the department of home affairs in particular,” Minister Gigaba continued.
“I’m not speaking on behalf of the ruling party per say, I am just clarifying a matter that has raised questions.”
The citizenship act covers all South African citizens that joins the army of another country, thus this act is not specifically targeted at SA citizens that join the IDF, but rather at all citizens that choose to take up arms for another country, in another country.
“The legislation says that such a person would have to lose their citizenship,” Minister Gigaba explained.
“The Lekgotla discusses a lot of issues, but it doesn’t mean that those issues ended up as decisions”.
“The citizenship act applies to all people equally and not specifically to people with both Israeli and South African citizenship.”
“A blanket ban is certainly not on the cards.” VOC (Umarah Hartley)