By denying foreigners bail, are SA courts also denying their rights?
A Mosotho accused of murder, which she argues was self-defence, has been refused bail. Not fair, say experts
Should foreigners not be granted bail based entirely on their supposed level of flight risk or the chance they could evade trial? It’s a question that has been thrust into the spotlight by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), who believe foreign nationals are struggling to receive bail because of their status as non-South African citizens.
CALS is currently representing a Mosotho woman accused of murdering her allegedly abusive partner in self-defence, who has applied for bail twice and failed – only because the presiding magistrate believed she would flee to her home country if released pending her criminal trial.
This, despite having lived in SA for eight years, building a life here with her two children, having no criminal record and supporting South African relatives. She also alleges in her high court application that Johannesburg Central prison ran out of her chronic HIV medication for three months after she was incarcerated...