ZEP extension not so shap shap for some South Africans

todayJune 29, 2023 101

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The Pretoria High Court’s ruling that’s declared government’s decision to terminate the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) as unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid has received mixed reactions from various quarters. 
While it finally brought an end to the uncertainty of whether or not Zimbabwean nationals living legally in the country would have to uproot their lives and start again in their home country, it also added more fuel to the fire that’s already burning in various parts of the country over the influx of migrants.
In Joburg, the past two weeks have been marred by endless protests in Diepsloot and Diepkloof over crime, inadequate housing and water as well as the inflow of foreign nationals.
The Helen Suzman Foundation is one of the parties that hauled government to court on the matter and won its case against the Home Affairs Department yesterday.

The court found that the process was unfair – saying Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, failed to consult the almost 180 000 ZEP holders prior to the ZEP termination decision.

The court ordered that the Minister reconsider following a fair process and pending that outcome – the permits will remain valid until June 2024.

Helen Suzman Foundation’s Nicole Fritz says they will await Motsoaledi’s response to the ruling.

Civic Rights Group, Voice It In Action, has come out guns blazing – criticising the high court’s decision.

The organisation’s Founder and President, Kgothatso Moloto, says the ruling proves that even the justice system protects criminality, while limiting the rule of law and undermining the officials who have to implement the laws.

Moloto says the ZEP system is problematic and was unlawful from the word go. He is concerned that the court’s ruling is based on technicalities and didn’t delve into the merits of the system, which would have proved that the ZEP holders are therefore illegal in the country.

He is accusing NGOs like the Helen Suzman Foundation of consistently defending criminality, especially with regards to migrants.

The civic rights organisation’s leader says the high court’s decision cannot go unchallenged.
Moloto says, in his opinion, the ruling is a judicial overreach as it has taken away Motsoaledi’s powers to make decisions.
Minister Motsoaledi has described the court’s decision as unconstitutional, and says he is still applying his mind on the matter.

The Zimbabwe Permit Holders Association has welcomed the ruling and says efforts are underway to seek permanent residency for the permit holders.

Advocate Simba Chitando says the judgment puts ZEP holders in a much better position.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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