White South African wins visa over crime fear

08:09 by Editor · 0 Post a comment on AAWR

Dianne Jefferson, a white South African woman, has been granted permission to stay in Ireland after claiming she was at risk of crime in her home country because of racial discrimination.

The 22-year-old told the authorities she was at heightened threat of attack because she was a young white female.

Miss Jefferson moved to Ireland aged 14 to live with her father when her grandmother died in South Africa.

She has since studied at college and married an Irish man, Kevin Curran, three years ago. But as a non-national, she had to apply for a visa to reside and was turned down.

Miss Jefferson launched a legal bid in Dublin's High Court for permission to stay in the country, stating in her affidavit: "I say and believe that as a white South African there is a real possibility of criminal racial discrimination against me and I fear for my wellbeing and ultimately my life if I am returned".

The judge granted her an injunction stopping immigration authorities from deporting her, and she has now been given a five-year residency visa.

Owen Swaine, Miss Jefferson's lawyer, said his client, who lives in Doughiska, County Galway, had no immediate family left in South Africa.

"Her apprehension in returning is two fold," he said. "One is she's been in Ireland as a child, has no family connections and would be a stranger in South Africa. She is of limited financial means and if deported would effectively be abandoned there, and a female abandoned in any area of the world is more likely to fall victim to crime.

"In addition to that, being a South African, she takes a keen interest and has read about the wide level of violent crime, which heightens her fear of returning as a young woman."

There are on average 50 murders and nearly 200 sexual offences every day in South Africa, according to crime figures released last month. In total, there were 18,148 murders between April 2008 and March 2009. continues here

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