S/Africa: Court dismisses appeal against Zimbabwe exemption permits

APA-Pretoria South Africa’ s Gauteng High Court has ruled against two groups representing Zimbabwe immigrants to grant them permanent residency status as opposed to them holding the current temporary Zimbabwe Exemption Permits to live in the country, APA learnt on Thursday. At the heart of the dispute was a decision taken by South Africa’ s Ministry of Home…

APA-Pretoria (South Africa) South Africa’s Gauteng High Court has ruled against two groups representing Zimbabwe immigrants to grant them permanent residency status as opposed to them holding the current temporary Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP) to live in the country, APA learnt on Thursday.

At the heart of the dispute was a decision taken by South Africa’s Ministry of Home Affairs not to renew the ZEP and impose a condition giving a 12-month grace period during which time ZEP holders needed to regularise their stay through the normal immigration laws of the country.

The Zimbabweans took their case to the high court following the ministry’s decision to end the immigrant status as the holders of ZEPs, which is a temporary status.

The appeal against the ministry’s decision was led by African Amity and another group representing Zimbabwean migrants who filed an urgent application to the high court on 24 December to hear and rule on the matter.

Following hearings of the complaint on 28 December, the high court on Thursday agreed with the home affairs ministry not to renew the permits.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has welcomed the decision of the High Court to side with his ruling and strike from the roll the urgent applications by the Zimbabweans.

“The relief sought by these two groups was basically to be granted permanent residency and that the court should instruct the ministry to issue ZEP holders with visas, pending the review of the minister’s decision by the courts,” Motsoaledi said.

He added: “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 Home Affairs.”

NM/jn/APA

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