Ilse de Lange
1 minute read
5 Jan 2018
6:10 am

Fireblade customs service up, running

Ilse de Lange

In terms of a court order granted by consent, Home Affairs agreed to immediately give effect to a ruling that the department must provide an immigration service to international travellers at Fireblade’s terminal.

OR Tambo International Airport. Picture: Valentina Nicol

Super rich and famous international travellers using private aircraft no longer have to brave the immigration queues at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport despite a pending bid in the Constitutional Court to stop the Oppenheimer family’s Fireblade Aviation from offering exclusive customs and immigration services to them.

The minister and director-general of Home Affairs late last month capitulated and undertook to give effect to a series of court orders allowing Fireblade to render an exclusive customs and immigration service to international VIPs at their seven-star reception centre at OR Tambo.

This was after a full bench of the High Court in Pretoria shortly before Christmas dismissed the minister’s appeal against an enforcement order and a subsequent urgent application by Fireblade to have Home Affairs Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and DirectorGeneral Mkhuseli Apleni jailed for contempt of court for ignoring the court order.

In terms of a court order granted by consent, Home Affairs agreed to immediately give effect to a ruling by Judge Sulet Potterill that the department must provide an immigration service to international travellers at Fireblade’s terminal at OR Tambo.

The department’s undertaking will remain in place pending the final determination of the minister and director-general’s pending application in the Constitutional Court.

Judge Potterill ruled in October that one of Dlodlo’s predecessors, Malusi Gibaba (now the country’s finance minister), had granted permission for the department to run an immigration service at Fireblade’s OR Tambo terminal and that Fireblade could implement the decision.

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