Zimbabwe’s ambassador to South Africa, David Hamadziripi said that there are no diplomatic tensions between Zimbabwe and South Africa over immigrants.
Speaking in an interview with The Sunday Mail’s Harmony Agere, Hamadziripi urged Zimbabwean nationals living in South Africa to respect the neighbouring country’s immigration laws.
This comes after South Africa’s government announced its decision to discontinue the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP), special permits that were granted to about 200 000 Zimbabweans and were renewed after every four years. Said Hamadziripi:
I am not aware of any diplomatic tensions between Zimbabwe and South Africa over immigrants.
Concerning the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit, the Government of Zimbabwe has noted and acknowledged the sovereign decision taken by the South African government on that matter.
It has encouraged the concerned Zimbabweans to comply with that decision.
Both Zimbabwe and South Africa seek to ensure regular and orderly migration between and into their territories, hence the clampdown on irregular migration at Beitbridge.
Hamadziripi also confirmed that South Africa has extended ZEP by another 12 months. He said:
Yes, the validity of the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit has been extended to December 31, 2022.
Refer to the Minister’s (SA Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi) immigration directive.
South Africa recently launched a blitz against illegal immigrants including Zimbabweans with hundreds deported in the past few days.