PRETORIA – The Department of Home Affairs will appear before the Pretoria High Court to defend its decision to terminate the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) programme. The move, which was announced by department minister Aaron Motsoaledi in 2021, has been challenged by three civil society organisations.
The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) and the Helen Suzman Foundation argued in court that the decision was taken without proper public consultation, and that it represented a breach of the constitutional rights of ZEP holders and their children.
Advocate David Simonsz, who represented CoRMSA, said that at the heart of the case was the idea that the 178,000 Zimbabwean nationals who were living and working in South Africa on the strength of ZEPs, some for more than a decade, should have a say in the decision as to whether their stay in the country should be terminated.
The organisations also maintained that the economic and political situation in Zimbabwe had not changed, which was the reason for the introduction of the ZEP programme in the first place.
The Department of Home Affairs is opposing the case, and its legal team will respond on Wednesday. The outcome of the case will have significant implications for Zimbabwean nationals living in South Africa and their families.
Source -MasimbaNews ✍