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Helen Suzman Foundation goes to court to ensure ZEP remains valid as Motsoaledi appeals

Koena Mashale Journalist
The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) has made an application to the Pretoria high court to enforce its June 2023 order that the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) remain valid.
The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) has made an application to the Pretoria high court to enforce its June 2023 order that the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) remain valid.
Image: 123RF/STOCKSTUDIO44

The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) has made an application to the Pretoria high court to enforce its June 2023 order that the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) remain valid.

This comes after home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi challenged the ruling that saw him lose an application relating to the ZEP.

In October 16, the court found the minister's appeal to the June 2023 judgment had no prospects of success. 

Helen Suzman Foundation executive director Nicole Fritz said the foundation is making the application out of necessity.

"When the minister first signalled his intention to appeal the court’s June 2023 judgment, HSF asked him to leave the ZEP in place until he exhausted the appeal process. The minister refused," said Fritz.

Fritz said the foundation had once again asked him to abide by the court's June 2023 judgment, [but] "the minister again refused, instead indicating that he planned to continue his appeal by approaching the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA)".

"It is in the face of such unyielding resistance to perhaps the law’s most basic demand – that affected parties are owed fair and rational process when their rights are adversely affected – that HSF seeks the court’s intervention once more to relieve the excruciating uncertainty that the minister’s actions present to ZEP holders," said Fritz.

She said without the application there's a risk of the court's June 2023 judgment being suspended.

"If the minister lodges his appeal at the SCA, the judgment will be suspended. That would mean that the ZEP expires roughly two months from now, on 31 December 2023," said Fritz.

Fritz said without a court order providing certainty to ZEP holders, they will depend upon the possibility of the minister granting them further piecemeal extensions.

"Government decision-making of this sort – for ZEP holders and South Africans alike – has no place in a country of laws," she said.


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