HomePoliticsGeneral NewsSupreme Court of Appeal Dismisses Home Affairs Minister's Application In ZEP Case

Supreme Court of Appeal Dismisses Home Affairs Minister’s Application In ZEP Case

In June, Motsoaledi announced the extension of the ZEP deadline to 31 December 2023, citing a surge in visa and waiver applications from affected Zimbabwean nationals.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has dealt a blow to Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi in the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) case.

Last Friday, the SCA dismissed Motsoaledi’s application for leave to appeal against a high court ruling that declared his decision to terminate the ZEP programme unlawful. The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria had previously ruled in favour of the Helen Suzman Foundation and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (Cormsa), dismissing Motsoaledi’s appeal application.

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The SCA has now determined that there are no reasonable prospects of success in an appeal. It remains to be seen whether the minister will approach the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) for further review.

The Helen Suzman Foundation welcomed the appellate court’s decision, stating that the Pretoria High Court’s judgement still stands unless the matter is referred to the Constitutional Court.

The Gauteng High Court had found that Motsoaledi failed to consult with ZEP holders and other interested parties, declaring his November 2021 decision “unlawful and unconstitutional.” The court also ruled that the ZEP permits would remain valid until 28 June 2024 to allow for a fair public participation process.

In June, Motsoaledi announced the extension of the ZEP deadline to 31 December 2023, citing a surge in visa and waiver applications from affected Zimbabwean nationals.

This extension was intended to provide ZEP holders with an opportunity to apply for other visas under the Immigration Act for which they may qualify.

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In December, Motsoaledi’s department granted at least 178,000 Zimbabwean nationals exemption permits until 29 November 2025.

These permits allow Zimbabweans to work, seek employment, and conduct business in South Africa during the validity period. However, they do not entitle holders to apply for permanent residence, and the permits are not renewable.

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It is important to note that holders of valid exemption permits are protected from arrest, deportation, or detention related to the absence of a valid exemption certificate.

The SCA’s decision marks a significant development in the ongoing ZEP case, and the ultimate resolution of the matter will have implications for the affected Zimbabwean nationals residing in South Africa.

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Ntuthuko Gumede for SurgeZirc SA
Ntuthuko Gumede for SurgeZirc SA
In the fast-paced world of politics, staying informed is crucial. Ntuthuko Gumede, a renowned journalist, has been making waves with his insightful and thought-provoking political news articles on SurgeZirc SA. With his expertise and dedication to reporting accurate and unbiased information, Gumede has become a trusted source for political analysis.
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