Pretoria High Court declares termination of Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) unconstitutional and invalid

The Pretoria High Court has ruled that Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s decision to terminate the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) is unconstitutional and invalid.

In 2021, the Minister of Home Affairs announced the termination of the ZEPs, with a limited extension to be granted. This decision was met with legal challenges from various civil society organizations, including the Helen Suzman Foundation.

In its recent ruling, the high court declared the November 2021 decision to provide a limited extension for ZEP holders as unconstitutional and unfair. The court found that the Minister had failed to consult the ZEP holders, resulting in an unfair process. As a result, the court ordered that Zimbabwe Exemption Permits will remain valid for the next 12 months. Furthermore, Home Affairs is required to allow ZEP holders to enter or depart South Africa, provided they meet the immigration requirements and hold a valid passport.

Julian Pokroy, an immigration lawyer, also commented on the ruling, stating that the extension will allow for further processes to be outlined and that an update on this matter will be provided shortly.

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