Cabinet says it has noted the “numerous, strong attacks” made on Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on social media.
Motsoaledi drew ire from thousands of Zimbabweans after Cabinet decided that it would not be issuing extensions to the now-expired Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) which was initiated in 2017.
But Cabinet did extend a 12-month grace period at the expiry of the current Zimbabwe Exemption Permit.(ZEP)
“During this period the holders of this permit should apply for other permits appropriate to their particular status or situation,” said Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams.
“This decision was motivated by our desire to ensure that eligible Zimbabweans can regularize their stay in South Africa. We appeal to the holders of this permit to use the 12 months to regularize their status in South Africa,” added Williams.
Williams said that decisions of the executive are never decisions of an individual, rather they represent a collective decision.
“South Africa is governed by the rule of law, and as such all within its borders are expected to adhere to the law,” added Williams.
Williams said enforcement of border controls is applied to all nationalities who try to enter the country illegally as part of this country’s border management policies.
But, amid the social media trolls, there is widespread support and praise for Motsoaledi online, specifically among those who want low skilled Zimbabweans to return home because of the unemployment crisis in South Africa.
Twitter user @Maps_pj posted: “This is probably the first time Home Affairs launches roadblocks to clamp down on illegal foreigners. The good work by Aaron Motsoaledi is noted and well-received.”
“Aaron Motsoaledi must never allow himself to be bullied by illegal immigrants and pseudo-human rights activists,” posted @Rhangani_·
(Compiled by Narissa Subramoney)