“Immediately following the positive decision, reaction from the South African government was swift and hostile, and that government threatened that diplomatic relations would be threatened, if the decision were not reversed. The decision was further termed “racist” and “in support of Apartheid.”-- Stefanie Gude, Assistant of Mr. Rocco Galati, Huntley's Review Lawyer
Court File No: IMM-4423-09
THE MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATIONApplicant- and -
Brandon Carl HUNTLEYRespondentAFFIDAVIT
I, Stefanie Gude, in the City of Toronto, in the Province of Ontario, MAKE OATH AND SAY:
1. I am Mr. Galati's assistant and, as such, have knowledge of the matters hereinafter deposed.
2. Following the positive decision of the RPD with respect to the Respondent, the issue received national and international attention.
3. A recent "Google" search on the Internet shows that the event and decision has been the subject of approximately 113,000 articles/stories. Attached, as "Exhibit A", is a copy of that search.
4. Immediately following the positive decision, reaction from the South African government was swift and hostile, and that government threatened that diplomatic relations would be threatened, if the decision were not reversed. The decision was further termed "racist" and in support of Apartheid. Attached, as "Exhibit B", are some sample articles to that effect, which typically read:
"The African National Congress (ANC) views the granting by Canada of a refugee status to South African citizen Brandon Huntley on the grounds that Afrkans would ‘persecute' him, as racist,' the party said in a statement.
‘We find the claim by Huntley to have been attacked seven times by Africans due to his skin colour without any police intervention sensationalist and alarming. Canada's reasoning for granting Huntley a refugee status can only serve to perpetuate racism.'
Home Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said it would have been ‘courteous' for Canadian authorities to get the South African government's side of the story before making its decision on Huntley.
We should reject these ridiculous allegations that have been leveled against our people and the country,' he said."
- "Canada's white refugee ruling racist: S. Africa", Reuters, September 1", 2009
"South Africa's ruling party on Wednesday accused a Canada immigration panel of racism, after a white man was granted refugee status due to his fears of persecution by blacks.
- "Canada accused of racism over white refugee", Agence France-Presse, September 2nd 2009
"South Africa's top diplomat in Canada says he's ‘shocked out of his wits' a white South African claiming persecution because of his skin colour has won refugee status in this country.
He says the ruling, if left to stand, could seriously damage relations between the two countries. Abraham Sokhaya Nkomo, South Africa's high commissioner to Canada, dismissed as ‘outrageous' Brandon Huntley's contention his life would be in danger because of his skin colour if he returned to South Africa. In an interview yesterday, Mr. Nkomo wowed to pursue every avenue to get the Harper government to appeal the ruling - made last week by a one-man refugee board- to the Federal Court.
Mr. Nkomo said he had already met with officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and international Trade and is seeking a meeting with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in a bid to get the ruling appealed. We will pursue all avenues,' Mr. Nkomo said."
“Refugee claim ‘shocks' South African diplomat”, National Post, September 3, 2009
“The case of Brandon Huntley, a 31-year-old South African who was recently granted refugee status in Canada, has ignited diplomatic tensions between Canada and South Africa, over what critics in that country are calling a ‘moronic' immigration board ruling.
On Thursday, the South African government asked Canada to appeal the ruling on the grounds that there is no factual basis for it"
- "Colour wars", Macleans, September 11, 2009
“In an interview Wednesday, Nkomo vowed to leave no stone unturned in the effort to get the Harper government to appeal the ruling - made last week by a one-man refugee board - to the Federal Court.
He said the South African government is not going to act rashly, but he described the ruling as a ‘stain' on the bilateral relationship that must be removed.
Nkomo said many in South Africa feel betrayed by Canada, a country they thought of as a ‘bosom' friend with strong bonds that date back to the anti- apartheid struggle. ‘If it was some other country, maybe they could take it in their stride,' Nkomo said. ‘Certainly they are shocked beyond belief and outraged even that this happened especially in Canada.”
- "South Africa wants Canada ‘refugee' ruling overturned", Can West News Service, October 21", 2009
5. The South African government, and ruling ANC party, further made it clear that they would be approaching the Canadian government and demanding an appeal be filed, to reverse the decision.
6. Immediately following these reactions, officials on behalf of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney also made similar comments about the decision and made a decision to seek judicial review. Attached, as "Exhibit C", are some sample articles to that effect, which typically read:"The feds' request to review the Huntley case - which might end up being re-tried at the IRB by a different panel member - comes in the wale of political and public uproar in South Africa and around the world.
The refugee board decision also threatened to damage diplomatic relations between Canada and South Africa.
‘The high commission is very pleased The Canadian government has reaffirmed to us their commitment to bilateral relations that we have with Canada,' said Anesh Maistry, counselor for political affairs at the South African High Commission in Ottawa.
The government rarely appeals refugee board decisions."
- "Feds want refugee claim reviewed", Sun Media, September 30, 2009
"The federal government has denounced as ‘perverse' a refugee board ruling that granted asylum to white South African Brandon Huntley on the grounds he could face persecution in his homeland because of his skin colour.
In a written submission to the Federal Court of Canada the government said the ruling that Huntley's claim was ‘justified' is unreasonable and based on a ‘jaundiced assessment', by the one-man board, of conditions within South Africa.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is asking the Federal Court for permission to seek a judicial review of the ruling by board member William Davis."
- "Granting asylum to white South African was ‘perverse' Ottawa says", Can West News Service, October 21, 2009
2nd November 2009
Source: Politics Web, via Henri La Riche
Original PDF: IMM-4423-09: Respondent (Huntley): Memorandum of Fact & Law & Supporting Affidavits (Gude & Sherazee) (PDF:1963K)