Operation Dudula heads to court to challenge Zimbabwe exemption permit extension

Operation Dudula members outside the Kalafong hospital. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Operation Dudula members outside the Kalafong hospital. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Sep 7, 2022


Durban – Operation Dudula is expected to legally challenge government’s decision on the Zimbabwe exemption permit (ZEP) extension.

“Operation Dudula to challenge Zimbabwe exemption permit extension in court. The people shall govern,” said the group’s Nhlanhla Lux in a Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon.

Operation Dudula’s Zandile Dabula said they have instructed their attorneys to apply for direct access to the Constitutional Court to interdict the Minister of Home Affairs from extending the permit.

Last week Friday, Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced that the permit extension by a further six months.

“The minister has carefully considered the request and decided to extend the period by a further six months, that is, 31 December 2022 to 30 June 2023,” the department said.

Zimbabwean nationals will have an opportunity to apply for visas and/or waivers for a further six months.

The department said another factor considered was that few Zim nationals have applied for visas and/or waivers.

ActionSA has called the extension of the ZEPs “a mockery of our constitutional democracy.”

“This is a clear indication that illegal immigration is not a priority for the Home Affairs ministry and further poses a risk of a continued squeeze on our healthcare and social services,” said ActionSA leader, Herman Mashaba.

He said, according to Home Affairs, about 178 000 Zimbabweans were due to be deported by December due to expired permits or those who had not applied for renewal.

“These are the ones who are known and can be accounted for by the state. The extension of the Zimbabwean special permit to June 2023 is therefore a mockery of our constitutional democracy and further chips away at the autonomy of our state and its function, especially on managing our borders,” Mashaba said.

He said ActionSA will continue to monitor the extent of this extension and its long-lasting negative effects on society. “Our Immigration Act is very clear on how to deal with this type of influx of immigration and especially on illegal immigration.

“We are of the view that no political will exists to deal decisively with this endemic problem to South Africa. Home Affairs should send a clear message to anyone entering our borders that South Africa is a sovereign country with its own laws which must be obeyed and adhered to, failure of which carries an appropriate sanction,” he said.