SA ConCourt okays Zim torture probe

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s top appeals court yesterday ruled that the country’s authorities have a duty to investigate allegations of torture in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Judge Mohammed Navsa of the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a ruling that South African prosecutors had a duty under international law to probe the alleged torture of opposition activists in 2007.

South African police “are required to initiate an investigation... into the alleged offences,” Navsa said.

The ruling is likely to strain ties between South Africa and the government of President Robert Mugabe, who described the initial court order as a “direct assault” on Zimbabwe’s sovereignty.

It could also spell trouble for 17 implicated officials should they seek to travel to South Africa.

South African prosecutors had refused to investigate the allegations, citing political concerns.

Pretoria mediated after disputed polls in 2008 between Mugabe and his arch-rival Morgan Tsvangirai.

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum filed the case to force South Africa to arrest and prosecute 17 Zimbabweans accused of torture in 2007 if they enter the country.

The country’s National Prosecuting Authority and police appealed the order, after Mugabe pleaded with the ruling African National Congress to block the probe.

Comments (11)

South African courts are now transgressing into our internal issues on the foolish premise that they are upholding international law. These SA Courts must be seized with cases involving its nationals i.e. Corruption and Murders and has no business whatsoever, to meddle in our domestic affairs by acting like a Legal superpower in Africa. Any untoward verdict against Zimbabwe will soil the political and diplomatic relations subsisting between ZIM and RSA permanently.

AZ - 28 November 2013

Xenophobia happened in the face of those who are calling for prosecution. Did anyone ever arrested or prosecuted after this terrible time. Why do this people judge others when in there background people are being killed, tortured and human trafficking is rampant. Stop this nonsense ANC.......

hardlife - 28 November 2013

If you do not want to be subjected to these laws, don't torture your country men. If you really have a valid reason or a God given right to do so, then don't visit S. Africa

off topic - 28 November 2013

Why did South Africa not arrest Obama, whose hands is dripping with Libyans' blood? Well, I know the answer. It is because Zuma is an accomplice to the murder of Quaddafi and thousands of others. Remember Zuma voted for the invasion of Libya, thereby aothorising Nato to destroy that country. Now South Africa want to focus on small issues that have long been resolved. What about Marikana? Who is being probed or arrested? Munorwara vanhu veku RSA.

machakachaka - 28 November 2013

Those who took part in killing their countrymen are the ones who are against this rulling. They are afraid that their big party may not protect them. Why should they worry? Vanongoregaka kuenda kuSOUTH AFRICA kwacho. Vana vemakönzo

mwana wapresident - 28 November 2013

South Africa has no sovereign right over Zimbabwe. Period. Neither is it the UN Security council. This is an apartheid era judgment which Zimbabwe will never recognize. I suggest South Africa deals with the Marikana massacres. YOU arrest our Generals, we arrest your President.

master - 28 November 2013

South Africa has no sovereign right over Zimbabwe. Period. Neither is it the UN Security council. This is an apartheid era judgment which Zimbabwe will never recognize. I suggest South Africa deals with the Marikana massacres. YOU arrest our Generals, we arrest your President.

master - 28 November 2013

Ndiko kunonzi kurasika manje uku, maihwe zvanguuu.

Field Negro - 28 November 2013

Zimbabweans For Prosperity web page has more detailsm on this story, good analysis

Chomoto - 28 November 2013

The generals and those who tortured should just not go to South Africa. DSouth Aftica will not come into this country but tisu tinoda zveko ndosaka zvichitinetsa . Sei tichida kuti mitemo yevamwe uakashata yedu yakashata tinayo wani? If their constitution says so let it be but I am not expecting them to come and probe our men here but those who want to find good hospitals and good health care there will have to be subjected to the laws of that country. Handiti ndivo vanoda kurapwa flue ikoko nekuti kuno they have turned hospitals into killing institutions. Parirenyatwa Hospital which was a huge success discharged a patient who was on oxygen and I want to believe the message was " well we messed your op so what, just go and die'

Maita Manyuka - 29 November 2013

To have a court case based on propaganda MDC media reports that everyone knows are untrue is ridiculous. Lets look at how accurate the Zimbabwe irresponsible medias is. 1 President Mugabe is in hospital in Singapore dying??? 2. Currency is changing to the Zimbabwe dollar causing panic and cash flow problems. YAou would think the SA public would complain at their courts being tied up with spurious complaints that everyone knows are just another attempt atb propaganda. There is a need forv the couirt to demand absolute evidence failing which those involved locked up for contempt of court and wasting the courts time for adverse publicity against Zimbabwe. - terrorism

john - 29 November 2013

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