Media Statement – Constitutional Court Dismisses Appeal Against ZEP Judgment

Yesterday, the Constitutional Court dismissed an application by the Minister of Home Affairs (Minister) for leave to appeal a June 2023 Pretoria High Court judgment which held that the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) had been unlawfully terminated. That June 2023 judgment was unequivocal in holding that the Minister is obliged to follow a fair consultation process, which duly considered the rights of those affected by terminating the ZEP, before he be lawfully allowed to do so. The Constitutional Court’s order affirms with finality that this most basic of legal duties binds the Minister, notwithstanding changes in office that may occur once a new government is formed, when deciding the ZEP’s future. It is a vital affirmation – for ZEP holders and South African citizens alike – that principles of fair hearing and rational government are indispensable to our constitutional democracy.