Lockdown visa – Father finally given the green light to enter SA to meet his newborn son

Read the full article as on News24

Luc Osstyn and Jade van Ryneveld

Luc Osstyn & Jade van Ryneveld – before she fell pregnant with their first-born child. (Image: supplied by the family)

A Cape Town woman is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her husband in South Africa – to meet their newborn son for the first time.

This comes after Australian Luc Osstyn was on Thursday finally granted permission by the Department of Home Affairs to fly from Thailand to South Africa – after almost seven weeks of trying.

While waiting in Thailand, Osstyn has missed the birth of his son, Harley.

And for almost seven weeks, his wife, Jade van Ryneveld, has parented alone, unable to enjoy the first weeks of their first-born’s life as parents together, News24 reported on Thursday morning.

Hours later on Thursday, Osstyn messaged News24 from Thailand with the news that he had finally been given the green light.

He wrote: “I am ecstatic and relieved to know that I have overcome the last major hurdle in getting home to my wife and baby boy. I feel like Jade and I have just played a grand final rugby match. We won, but are exhausted and got pretty battered along the way.”

“I am particularly grateful to my wife and family, who have helped and supported every step of the way. We couldn’t have done it without the help of Craig Smith and his legal prowess!” Osstyn wrote.

But the couple’s immigration lawyer, Smith, was a little more sceptical.

He said: “He has been given permission, but it is lip service until he’s boarding, I’ve seen too many cases that they say one thing and do another. In other words: We need to see him board the flight and then celebrate. But not yet. So we press to the bitter end.”

In July, after Osstyn has been denied entry to South Africa, the couple launched a desperate “constitutional review” in the Western Cape Division of the High Court. This, in a bid to enable Osstyn to enter South Africa in time for the birth of their son.

Smith explained: “The High Court application challenged the constitutionality of the Disaster Management declaration – in particular, the Department of Home Affairs’ directions.”

By not granting Osstyn the right to enter South Africa to be with his South African wife, “we believe the Home Affairs directions violate the constitutional rights to dignity and family life of South Africans’ spouses and children, who do not hold South African citizenship.”

“We believe the Constitution protects the foundational values of families and marital relations – and the Department of Home Affairs’ directions violate these, as promulgated under the Disaster Management regulations,” Smith explained.

The Department of Home Affairs had settled, and agreed with the couple’s demands. But Smith reported that progress had since been “exasperatingly slow”

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