South Africa recently went back on a directive that would have sent roughly 200 000 Zimbabweans home.
If the plan hadn’t been reversed, it would have caused a humanitarian crisis as critical activists warned.
The decision of reversal, which was a directive to end the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit. which came from The Department of Home Affairs allegedly came with no official reasoning.
The decision came from Cabinet on November 25 and entered around ending the permits of some Zimbabweans in South Africa. The decision rallied up activists and human rights groups who were ready to take the matter to court, as Bloomberg reports.
Said exemption pertained to Zimbabweans who had entered South Africa before 2009.
If it had happened, Zimbabweans impacted would have had their permits terminated on December 31. They would have been given the option to apply for other visas or to be deported after twelve months had passed.
It would have meant that numerous Zimbabweans would have been sent back to a geopolitical setting that would have repressed them both politically and economically.
According to the head of the Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme at Lawyers for Human Rights, Sharon Ekambaram, who was pro reversing Cabinet’s decision:
“[The reversal] does call for a debate on how we manage movement in the region without infringing on peoples’ human rights and their dignity,”
Had the plan gone through, the Zimbabwean permit-holders’ lives would have been disrupted, with children denied the opportunity to register for school, employers refusing to renew work contracts, and banks denying services or withholding access to accounts, Ekambaram said previously in a letter signed by 46 organizations, as per BusinessTech.
Picture: Peter Kvetny