Page:NCGLE v Minister of Home Affairs.djvu/11

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Ackermann J

complaint embodied in the ground of appeal sought to be introduced by the amendment does not meet this test because it alleges only an error in the exercise of its discretion by the High Court. Even assuming, however, that such ground correctly formulates the test which would permit interference by this Court, the respondents have got nowhere near to establishing such a ground, on the facts before the High Court. No such vitiating error on the part of the High Court was contended for by the respondents in their written or oral argument before this Court and none can, on the papers, be found. In fact I am of the view that the High Court correctly dismissed the application for good and substantial reasons and that both the applications in this Court relating to such dismissal ought to be refused. The question of the appropriate costs order will be dealt with at the conclusion of this judgment.

The statutory framework and relevant facts

[12]Before reaching the constitutional issue in this matter it is necessary to consider the contentions raised by the respondents that the High Court should not have decided the issue of the constitutional validity of section 25(5) because it was not ripe for decision. But even this preliminary issue requires a consideration of the statutory framework and the facts relevant to the issue to be determined.

[13]As its long title indicates, the Act is wide-ranging and provides for “the control of the admission of persons to, their residence in, and their departure from, the Republic; and for matters connected therewith.” For purposes of the present case it is sufficient to refer to chapter III, which deals with residence in the Republic and domicile, and to certain of its relevant provisions. Section 24(1) of the Act establishes an Immigrants Selection Board which consists of the central committee and at least one regional committee (a “regional committee”) for each of