JOHANNESBURG – Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is now hoping to overturn the court’s June findings declaring the termination of the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) programme as unlawful and unconstitutional.
The matter will be heard in the Pretoria high court on Monday.
In June, a full bench upheld a joint challenge from the Helen Suzman Foundation and the Consortium for Refugees in South Africa to reverse the decision arguing, among others, that it was made without the requisite public consultation.
The court additionally granted the Zimbabwe Immigration Federation an interdict preventing any legal action against ZEP holders in the interim.
Motsoaledi’s office has previously said that the finding that public participation is required when a decision of this nature is taken – affecting a specified category of persons only – sets a dangerous precedent.
It also said the minister’s decision involved weighing of policy considerations – which falls within the domain of the executive and that the judgment implicates the separation of powers doctrine.
Motsoaledi believes his decision was correct “and took into consideration all the interests and rights implicated”.
About 180,000 Zimbabweans in South Africa with ZEP’s are uncertain about their future in the country.
In June, the judges ordered the extension of the programme for another 12 months