Motsoaledi not backing down after ZEP court blow

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has applied for leave to appeal against the whole judgment of the Zimbabwean Emergency Permits (ZEP) case before the Supreme Court of Appeal.

On June 28, a full bench of the Pretoria high court ruled against Motsoaledi in two ZEP-related matters, first, an interim interdict setting aside his directive to terminate the ZEP, and second, a 12-month extension on the validity of the permits.

Consequently, the court forced Motsoaledi to follow a fair process in deciding the validity of the ZEPs and could not arrest or deport ZEP holders.

Motsoaledi argued in court papers filed on Friday that the interim interdict was appealable based on case law.

“First it is in the interest of justice to do so. The interim interdict encroaches on the exercise of statutory powers assigned to the [minister], and the order implicates the doctrine of separation of powers,” he said.

He said the interim interdict could also not be allowed to stand as it disrupted the department’s immigration law enforcement. He said the second order was also under appeal.

Motsoaledi said the court erred in concluding his decision not to extend the validity of the permits violated the holders’ fundamental constitutional rights. He said the applicants never presented such evidence in support of allegations that his decision violated their constitutional rights. On the contrary, he said, permit holders would better enjoy their rights and freedom of movement under his directive. He rejected the finding that the directive violated children’s rights.

He said the reasonable apprehension of irreparable harm to permit holders was only imaginary, and this had not been established by the applicants.

On the balance of convenience, he said, there was no factual basis for the finding that ZEP holders’ rights were under serious threat of infringement.

He said the court was terse on the question of alternative remedies for ZEP holders.

Motsoaledi also challenged the court’s decision to grant a cost order against his office and the department.

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