Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is seeking leave to appeal a Gauteng High Court ruling that found his decision to terminate Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEPs) was “unlawful, unconstitutional, and invalid.” Motsoaledi has argued that the High Court had no right to “interfere” with the government’s decision regarding the permits, which provided legal status to around 178,000 Zimbabweans living in South Africa.
The High Court had extended the permits for 12 months, citing the need for a proper public participation process that had not been conducted before the termination of the ZEPs. The Helen Suzman Foundation had filed an application to set aside Motsoaledi’s decision to discontinue the special permits.
Motsoaledi’s advocate, William Mokhare, argued that the decision to terminate the ZEPs was rational, and the court should not interfere with executive decision-making. He also mentioned that the minister was open to extending the 31 December deadline for the permits.
However, the Helen Suzman Foundation and other advocates argued that the minister’s application should be dismissed and suggested punitive costs against Motsoaledi. They contended that the appeal had no prospects of success and emphasized the importance of hearing from affected individuals before making decisions that impact their lives.
The High Court has reserved judgment on the matter.
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