The executive director of the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) says they have received “alarming” threatening responses to the announcement that the foundation is challenging Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s decision to terminate the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP). Nicole Fritz told News24 on Friday that “… attempts to intimidate and harass us is alarming and scary”.
The foundation had already filed court papers.
Fritz, who also raised the issue of threats on her twitter account, said the responses they’ve received pointed to how “frightening it must be to be a migrant in South Africa at this point in time”.
The ZEP, which ended on 31 December 2021, will not be extended. Those with a permit have a 12-month grace period to either apply for another type of permit or leave the country. Cabinet supported Motsoaledi’s decision.
HSF said in a statement that: “It is not the position of HSF that those migrants who are in South Africa unlawfully should be entitled to remain, nor even that the ZEP must continue in perpetuity.
“Rather, our position is that those who have scrupulously observed South Africa’s laws in order to live and work here, under the ZEP, cannot have such permits terminated without fair process, good reason and a meaningful opportunity to regularise their status. It is what our constitutional order demands.”