Home Affairs' failure to meet a deadline set by the Public Protector demonstrated contempt, the DA said yesterday. 

DA MP Mannie de Freitas said he would be making a statement in the National Assembly to raise concerns about Home Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's conduct.

He would also be asking parliamentary questions to establish why she had not acted "as is constitutionally required of her", he said.

Madonsela set a May 24 deadline for Dlamini-Zuma's department to resolve the difficulties Strand businessman Thijs van Hillegondsberg and his wife and children have encountered over an 11-year struggle to obtain the required permits to live and work in SA.

In a report entitled "Unconscionable delay", Madonsela accused the department of maladministration and abuse of power in Van Hillegondsberg's case.

She gave Dlamini-Zuma, the department's director-general Mkuseli Apleni and other top officials until May 24 to take remedial action or face further censure.

Van Hillegondsberg, who is Dutch, runs a water purifying business. He and his wife Patricia Poelman and his son Ludo (then aged three) arrived in SA in 1996 from the Netherlands.

They subsequently adopted two SA children, Thembisa (now aged 17) and Johan (now 15), in 2001.

Their son Ludo was recently fined for not having the correct immigration status on a trip to Malaysia.

Kgalalelo Masibi, the public protector's spokeswoman, said Madonsela had received a personal phone call from Dlamini-Zuma during which she said the department would implement the remedial action.

"There were certain issues where they needed clarity, and clarity was provided."

SUE SEGAR and GAYE DAVIS - iol.co.za

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