SA ministers urged to help Namibian twins Maya and Paula

29 March 2021 | Justice

JANA-MARI SMITH

Windhoek



The South African Democratic Alliance (DA) is pushing the South African ministers of immigration and international relations to take a stand against Namibia's refusal to allow newborn twins Maya and Paula Delgado Lühl entry into Namibia.

In a statement issued on Friday by Darren Bergman, the DA shadow minister of international relations and cooperatio, urged the South African government “to act on its foreign policy which is centred around the protection and promotion of human rights on the African continent.”

He stressed that Namibia's refusal to issue travel documents to the twin daughters of Namibian citizen Phillip Lühl and his Mexican husband Guillermo Delgado, reeks of human rights violations.

“The DA calls on the South African government to intervene in the Namibian government's refusal to issue travel documents to [the twins], who were born in South Africa via a surrogate.”

He argues that their refusal to issue the documents necessary to reunite the twins and their father with their family in Namibia is “due to the homophobic laws of the country which do not recognise same-sex marriages.”

He underlines that the twins were issued with authentic South African birth certificates and that their surrogacy was approved by a South African High Court recognising the spouses as the parents of the girls.

Bergman asked that Naledi Pandor, minister of international relations and cooperation, and home affairs minister Aaron Motsaelidi take action to address the plight of the family.

He argues that their diplomatic intervention is key to “stop this discrimination and infringement on the human rights of this couple and other same-sex couples across the continent.”



Battle after battle

The urgent application brought by Lühl to bring back his daughters is not the couple's first turn in the Windhoek High Court. They are awaiting judgment in another case related to their claim for citizenship by descent for their son Yona, who was born two years ago in South Africa to a surrogate.

In another case, Delgado turned to the court last year when he was forced to leave Namibia on short notice after an immigration official noticed he was married to a man.

While he was allowed to return, the couple have taken the case to the Supreme Court after Delgado was denied domicile in Namibia in a recent judgment. He currently resides in Namibia on a work permit.

In the case of their twins, judge Thomas Masuku will deliver his decision on 19 April.

The home affairs ministry on Friday issued a statement in which they strenuously denied that their refusal to issue travel documents was in any way discriminatory.

“The notion that the minister or the ministry is homophobic or do not care about the children is false.”

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