HOME Affairs says it will contest the North Gauteng High Court judgement in which it was directed not to deport the 178 000 Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) holders.
The department says it has no choice but to appeal the judgement because it set a “dangerous precedent” and deals with “a sacrosanct principle of separation of powers”.
The legal challenge came barely three days after the full bench of the North Gauteng High Court found that Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi acted unlawfully and “unconstitutionally, pointing out that his directive was “invalid”.
However, Motsoaledi, insisted he would challenge the judgement favouring the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF), Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CORMSA) and All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied of South Africa (ATDFASA) and the Zimbabwe Immigration Federation against his department.
The minister said he had studied the judgment outcome hence taking legal
“The two judgments cannot go unchallenged as they set a dangerous precedent in that: The finding of the court on the applicability or otherwise of sections 3 and 4 of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (“PAJA”) is highly questionable, particularly the requirement for public participation when a decision of this nature is taken, affecting a specified category of persons only. In this instance, the affected
He argued the decision not to extend the ZEP involved weighing policy considerations which fell within the domain of the Executive.
“The judgment also deals with matters relating to a sacrosanct principle of separation of powers. The Minister believes that this is another strong ground for appeal. The Minister believes that the decision he took was correct and took into consideration all the interests and rights implicated, including those of children.”
DHA said it was not clear as to what was the purpose of the interdict when in fact the minister had issued directives to ensure the affected Zimbabwean nationals continued to enjoy the protections afforded by the directives.
“The last Minister’s Immigration Directive was issued on 7 June 2023. Since the Minister took the decision, no Zimbabwean national has been threatened in any manner whatsoever and/or deported. They continue to enjoy freedom of movement between South Africa and Zimbabwe and anywhere, as pleaded in the affidavits filed in court on behalf of the Minister showing significant movements to and from Zimbabwe by the affected Zimbabwean nationals and their families,” home affairs stated.
The home affairs said the affected Zimbabwean nationals would continue to apply for other visas and waivers in large numbers as provided for in the Immigration Act 13 of 2002.
South Africa is bearing the brunt of the crises in neighbouring Zimbabwe. There is a rising anti-Zimbabwean sentiment as South Africa struggles to provide jobs and services to its nationals.
A mob beat and burnt to death a Zimbabwean man, Elvis Nyathi (43) in the restive Diepsloot during xenophobic violence in 2022.
Problems are forecast to mount as Zimbabwe heads to what looks likely to be a disputed election.
– CAJ News