If there’s one particular person who feels irked by the high number of Zimbabweans currently residing and working in South Africa, it can only be that country’s Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi.

Motsoaledi, whose Department of Home Affairs has announced that it intends to challenge the recent judgment of the North Gauteng High Court, which ordered the department not to deport the 178,000 Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) holders, has since stated that the judgements ‘cannot go unchallenged’.

Motsoaledi’s actions were described by the full bench of the North Gauteng High Court as “unlawful” and “unconstitutional,” declaring the minister’s directive as invalid.

But, in a statement, Motsoaledi who is contesting  the judgment made in favor of the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF), Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CORMSA), All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied of South Africa (ATDFASA), and the Zimbabwe Immigration Federation, said:

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 Zimbabwean nationals.

Added Motsoaledi:

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.”

The High Court ruled, a few days ago, that individuals holding ZEP should be granted the freedom to enter or depart from South Africa, and should not be subjected to sections 29, 30, and 32 of the Immigration Act.

The Court also extended the validity of the ZEP for an additional 12 months, until June 2024.

Furthermore, the high court has issued an interim interdict that prevents government agencies from detaining or deporting individuals who possess the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit.