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SA-based Zimbos appeal for legal fees

Local News
Zimbabwe Exemption Permit Holders Association (Zepha)

THE Zimbabwe Exemption Permit Holders Association (Zepha) says it has no funds to support its court challenge seeking an urgent order to assert the rights of children with parents that are in South Africa under the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (Zep).

Zepha is appealing for monetary donations from members of the public to finance its High Court application to be heard in Pretoria on January 24, 2023.

In a statement this week, it said it did not have enough funds to finance the proceedings against South Africa’s Home Affairs ministry.

 “Zepha does not have the benefit of a budget anywhere near that of the South African government for litigation. According to the reports from the parliamentary committee, the Home Affairs minister budget is several billion rand. We hereby call upon members of the public who are prepared to assist Zepha with donations of any value to get hold of us urgently,” the statement read.

 “Several Zimbabwean children, eligible to write the 2023 Matric examinations in South Africa, have been denied registration because of their parents’ legal status in South Africa. This is a cruel, inhumane and unconstitutional denial of Zimbabwean children’s right to complete their education.

“Zepha has been involved in ongoing litigation over several years against the South African government to protect rights of Zep holders. Our legal challenge against Immigration Directive 10 of 2021, which attacked the Zep bank accounts, set down for December 14, 2021 led to the withdrawal of that directive on December 13, 2021. Our legal challenge against the decision to end Zimbabwean exemptions shall be heard between April 11, 2023 and April 14, 2023.”

Late last year, the SA Cabinet resolved not to renew Zeps, saying Zep holders must apply for a special visa regime or face deportation at the expiry of the 12-month grace period in December 2022. The deadline was later extended to June this year.

Zep holders’ lawyer Simba Chitando said the main case which deals with the Zep right to residency shall not be heard on the urgent roll, but would be heard on the ordinary roll.

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