Permit-Holding Zimbabweans Lose Visa Court Battle in South Africa

The Pretoria High Court has dismissed an urgent application by interest groups and holders of the special Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) to revoke a decision not to extend the programme.

Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, welcomed the decision, saying: "We are determined to defend any spurious court actions aimed at undermining the lawful and reasonable decision which I took in my capacity as the minister of the department. We are doing this while we acknowledge the rights of individuals and groups to approach the courts to seek remedies if they feel aggrieved," Motsoaledi said.

At the heart of the dispute is the decision taken by the Minister of Home Affairs not to renew the ZEP and impose a condition giving a 12-month grace period during which time ZEP holders need to regularise their stay through the normal immigration laws of the country.

About 182,000 Zimbabweans who hold the permit were given a year's grace to migrate to other permits to allow them to stay in South Africa, writes Tariro Washinyira wrote for GroundUp.

InFocus

A Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permit. This document was eventually replaced by the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (file photo).

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