Operation Dudula vows to get 180,000 Zimbabweans deported this year, sues Minister Motsoaledi


Immigrant extremist and vigilante group Operation Dudula has vowed to challenge Zimbabwe Exemption Permit extension at the Constitutional Court.

The Department of Home Affairs announced that permits will be extended for a further six months.

Over 180,000 foreigners from Zimbabwe were at risk of deportation by December.

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However, under the new directive, they can not be arrested, detained or ordered to depart until June.

The government is urging people to use this time to apply for visas or waivers.

Zandile Dabula, national secretary-general of the movement, said it rejects the “vague” reasons behind the special advisory committee's decision.

“Operation Dudula has instructed its attorneys to apply for ‘direct access’ to the Constitutional Court on an urgent basis, with an intent to prevent the minister of home affairs [from extending the] ZEP. If Zimbabwean permit holders were serious about legalising their stay in SA, [they] would have taken advantage of the opportunity presented by the department of home affairs.”

Home affairs recently extended ZEPs for another six months, from December 31 to June 30 2023.

However, this decision appears not to have gone down well with South Africans who previously praised the Minister for being tough on foreigners, especially Zimbabweans.

Following the extension, South Africans took to social media to express their views and some of them accused the Minister of being weak and caving in to pressure.

An estimated 180 000 Zimbabwean nationals were in jeopardy of being deported out of South Africa on 31 December, the initial expiry date.

“Failure to make representations could mean the current permit holders don’t have valid legal grounds to advance or consciously elect to ignore legalising their stay in SA,” said Dabula.

Operation Dudula said contravention of the Immigration Act is a criminal offence and should not be reasoned otherwise, she added.

“The minister of home affairs Dr Aaron Motsoaledi’s behaviour is consistent with that of Dr Joe Phaahla, who instead of instructing hospitals to report illegality taking place at public hospitals elects to tell South Africans he is contemplating making lawbreakers pay for medical services,” Dabula added.

ActionSA said it is also concerned about the ZEP decision.

“South Africa has been under the grip of crime, economic squeeze and a seemingly unending plethora of social ills, allegedly due to the influx of migrants and mostly by undocumented and illegal immigrants,” the party said.

“It is not long ago that violence flared in Kagiso, west of Johannesburg, when residents took the law into their own hands after the rape of local women by illegal zama-zamas, known to be illegal Basotho hiding in the myriad tunnels in the old West Rand mines.

“The extension of the Zimbabwean special permit to June 2023 is therefore a mockery of our constitutional democracy and further chips away at the autonomy of our state and its function, especially on managing our borders.”

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