SA Home Affairs minister to appeal on Zimbabwe Exemption Permit rulings

Aaron Motsoaledi
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PRETORIA, – South African government Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi has instructed his legal team to seek leave to appeal court rulings that overturned his decision to terminate the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) program, according to GroundUP.

The Pretoria High Court recently declared the termination of the program unlawful, unconstitutional, and invalid, ordering the minister to reconsider the issue through a fair process. The program, which affects approximately 178,000 Zimbabwean permit holders, was extended for another 12 months by the court.

In a separate case brought by the Zimbabwean Immigration Federation, an interdict was granted to halt any action against ZEP holders until a review of the minister’s decision, which is yet to be scheduled for hearing.

The court found that the minister had not followed due process in considering the impact on ZEP holders and their children born in South Africa, nor had he considered the prevailing conditions in Zimbabwe. The decision was deemed procedurally unfair, irrational, and an unjustified limitation of rights.

Motsoaledi stated that he will ensure immigration laws are enforced without bias. He believes the judgments set a dangerous precedent and plans to challenge them, citing concerns about the applicability of the Promotion of Administration of Justice Act and the principle of separation of powers.

Regarding the interim interdict in the Zimbabwean Immigration Federation matter, Motsoaledi noted that he had already issued directives to prevent deportation and ensure freedom of travel for affected Zimbabwean nationals.

The minister will need to file court papers, after which the judges will decide whether to grant leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal. If leave is not granted, the minister can directly apply to the appeal court for permission to appeal.