Self-appointed illegal immigrant watchdog Operation Dudula says it is heading to the apex court to interdict the home affairs minister’s extension of Zimbabwean exemption permits (ZEP).
Zandile Dabula, national secretary-general of the movement, said it rejects the “vague” reasons behind the special advisory committee’s decision.
“Operation Dudula has instructed its attorneys to apply for ‘direct access’ to the Constitutional Court on an urgent basis, with an intent to prevent the minister of home affairs [from extending the] ZEP.
“If Zimbabwean permit holders were serious about legalising their stay in SA, [they] would have taken advantage of the opportunity presented by the department of home affairs.”
Home affairs recently extended ZEPs for another six months, from December 31 to June 30 2023.
“Failure to make representations could mean the current permit holders don’t have valid legal grounds to advance or consciously elect to ignore legalising their stay in SA,” said Dabula.
Operation Dudula said contravention of the Immigration Act is a criminal offence and should not be reasoned otherwise, she added.
“The minister of home affairs Dr Aaron Motsoaledi’s behaviour is consistent with that of Dr Joe Phaahla, who instead of instructing hospitals to report illegality taking place at public hospitals elects to tell South Africans he is contemplating making lawbreakers pay for medical services,” Dabula said.
ActionSA said it is also concerned about the ZEP decision.
“South Africa has been under the grip of crime, economic squeeze and a seemingly unending plethora of social ills, allegedly due to the influx of migrants and mostly by undocumented and illegal immigrants,” the party said.
“It is not long ago that violence flared in Kagiso, west of Johannesburg, when residents took the law into their own hands after the rape of local women by illegal zama-zamas, known to be illegal Basotho hiding in the myriad tunnels in the old West Rand mines.
“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.”