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Zimbabwe flagGroundUp reports that the Zimbabwean Immigration Federation has launched an application in the Pretoria High Court to challenge the scrapping of Zimbabwean Exemption Permits (ZEPs).

This follows a similar court bid by the Helen Suzman Foundation. The federation says it represents more than 1,000 Zimbabwean nationals who, issued with ZEPs, have lived legally in SA for more than ten years. Now, at the stroke of a pen, they face deportation at the end of December. In total, it is estimated that Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi’s decision, which was ratified by Cabinet, will affect about 182,000 Zimbabweans. The federation is seeking an interdict restraining the government respondents, including the minister, the department of home affairs, the police and border control, from detaining or deporting any holder of a ZEP, pending a further application, still to be filed, to review and set aside the minister’s decision. In November 2021, the minister decided not to renew the permits and gave holders a “grace period” of 12 months to either apply for “mainstream visas” or leave the country. Federation director Vindiren Magadzire said the dispensation for Zimbabwean nationals, which had been in place since 2009, had allowed Zimbabweans to live, study and work in SA. They could purchase property and join pension funds. Many had married South Africans and had children born in SA at local schools. All of this was now in jeopardy. He also pointed out that SA has been a safe haven for Zimbabweans who fled political violence, abductions and torture, and also persecution of gay people. The minister is expected to oppose both applications.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tania Broughton at GroundUp


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