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 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