Organisation Representing ZEP Holders Appeals For Funding

The Zimbabwe Exemption Permit Holders Association (ZEPHA) has made a fundraising campaign to support its legal action which seeks to protect the rights of children whose parents are ZEP holders.

ZEPHA is asking the public for financial contributions in order to fund its High Court application, which will be heard in Pretoria on January 24, 2023.

This week, ZEPH announced in a statement seen by NewsDay that it lacked the resources to pay for the legal action against the South African Home Affairs ministry. Read the statement:

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.

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.

The SA Cabinet decided late last year not to renew ZEPs, stating that ZEPs holders must apply for a special visa system or risk being deported when the 12-month grace period expires in December 2022. Later, the deadline was moved up to June of 2023.

Simba Chitando, an attorney for ZEP holders, stated that the major lawsuit involving the ZEP right to residency would not be heard on the urgent roll but rather on the regular roll.

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