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Moroccan fights S. Africa ruling on immigration

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A 24-year-old Moroccan has launched a court battle against a South African immigration ruling that his marriage to a 62-year-old woman is a pretext to gain permanent residence, the Mail and Guardian newspaper said Friday.

"There was something about her that immediately attracted me to her. She is a beautiful and vivacious woman," Youssef Essakhi said in court papers. His wife Amina testified it had been "love at first sight."Essakhi was instructed to return home to Casablanca after his June application for residency was rejected - a decision steeped in prejudice, according to his lawyer.

"Had she been a 62-year-old man and he a 24-year-old woman there would not have been such a gasp," said Shehnaz Seria.