Page:NCGLE v Minister of Home Affairs.djvu/17

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Ackermann J

[17]Because none is a South African citizen, the second to seventh applicants must all, for purposes of the Act, be regarded as “aliens”.[1] Their same-sex life partnerships with their respective South African partners are of differing duration[2] and not all identical in content. They all have certain features in common. Each relationship is an overt, same-sex life partnership which is intimate and mutually interdependent. This emerges more explicitly in the case of certain of the applicants. The third applicant and her South African partner have lived together in a joint household since March 1995, jointly purchased a home in February 1998, share living expenses, have joint insurances, and regulate their relationship by a domestic partnership agreement. Their emotional, physical and material interdependence is, like other applicants,[3] such that they would marry each other if the law permitted them to do so. The fourth applicant and his partner celebrated a public affirmation of their relationship attended by family members and friends. The seventh and the thirteenth applicants are reciprocal beneficiaries in each others’ wills. If the second applicant is not granted permanent residence in South Africa, the eighth applicant would emigrate in order to pursue the relationship.[4]

[18]After the 1994 elections the first applicant initiated discussions with the DG on a number of issues, including the failure to recognise same-sex relationships for purposes of immigration

  1. See section 1(1) of the Act cited in paragraph 13 above.
  2. The fifth applicant’s relationship had been established for a little longer than one year when the High Court application was brought. The others have all been longer; the second respondent’s relationship as well as that of the fourth respondent have been longer than four years.
  3. For example the second, fourth and fifth applicants and their respective partners.
  4. The eleventh applicant would likewise emigrate in order to pursue his relationship with the fifth applicant if the latter were not permitted to remain in South Africa.