The High Court in Pretoria is today expected to hear the third and final argument in the challenge against Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s decision to terminate the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP) programme.
The termination would mean that about 180 000 permit holders and their dependents would have to return to Zimbabwe or seek alternative visas or permits in South Africa.
Counsel representing the Zimbabwe Immigration Federation (ZIF) in the second application against the Minister, argued that the holders of the ZEP will suffer irreparable harm should the programme be terminated.
Minister Motsoaledi testifies at Zimbabwean Exemption Permit case
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi warned that forceful deportation would lead to human tragedy.
Ngcukaitobi says, “It’s an impractical thing. How is South Africa going to expel so many people on the first of July? How is this going to happen practically? it’s completely averse for the minister to refuse to extend the benefits until the judges have decided what to do with this…”
“it’s a truly perverse position to adopt that you want a decision to be enforced even though you know the human tragedy that will underpin any massive migration of people. and this is not voluntary migration, this is going to be forced migration because it has to be executed by law,” adds Ngcukaitobi.
Helen Suzman Foundation: Termination of ZEP is unlawful and invalid