Zim poll secrets exposed

HARARE - Repeated controversies that have dogged Zimbabwean elections could soon be laid bare after the South African Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed with costs on Friday the latest attempt by President Jacob Zuma’s government to overturn a lower court order that compelled it to hand over a much sought-after report into shenanigans surrounding Zimbabwe’s disputed 2002 elections.

The Khampepe Report was compiled by leading South African jurists, including the country’s respected deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, who looked into the freeness and fairness of the 2002 elections which observers and the opposition MDC dismissed as both unfair and not free.

In its ruling, the SCA found that the South African government had abused legal process and used implausible and unsustainable legal claims to fob off endeavours by the Mail and Guardian newspaper to lay its hands on the report.

However, the court declined to give, for now, much more than the vaguest of hints regarding what the report contains.

“Since this might still not be the end of the matter, I shall refrain from disclosing the contents of the report,” judge Fritz Brand wrote in the judgment, that was unanimously agreed to by the rest of the SCA bench, after a so-called judicial peek at the contents.

But Brand did disclose that the contents held nothing “that supports the grounds upon which the presidency refused the access sought by M&G”.

At one point during consideration by the SCA the report itself, what the State claimed to be the only copy in existence, mysteriously disappeared, only to reappear again.

The M&G first applied for access to the report in 2008, on the basis that its contents were in the public interest. The report was compiled by justices Sisi Khampepe and Moseneke, who were sent to Zimbabwe to provide a view on the conduct of the 2002 elections.

Despite the availability of the presumed hard-hitting report, the then-president Thabo Mbeki still declared controversially that South Africa was satisfied with the fairness of the Zimbabwean elections, as did observers from Nigeria and the Organisation of African Unity.

But other observers, including those from the likes of Norway, said Mugabe’s Zanu-PF had used violence to sway the vote.

Yet other observers pointed to changes in citizenship rules and vote registration as evidence of rigging.

The South African presidency consistently argued — during the terms of both Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma — that the contents of the report could not be disclosed ostensibly because this would damage relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

On Friday, however, the SCA said some of its arguments were legal gymnastics and others held no merit at all.

One technical part of an earlier appeal by the presidency “amounts to abuse of process, which cannot be tolerated”, the SCA found.

In another instance the court said that trying to declare that Khampepe and Moseneke had been acting as diplomatic envoys — which could imply that anything said to them was protected as diplomatic communication — “borders on the cynical”.

The presidency had, therefore, sought to introduce “intricacies” into the case, Brand wrote.

Shorn of complications though, the Constitutional Court had found the presidency had not made a case against release of the report. The High Court (after a judicial peek) found nothing in the report itself that would justify refusal to release it, and the SCA (after its own judicial peek) was “not persuaded that the high court was mistaken in arriving at the conclusion”.

Representatives for the South African government said the judgment had to be studied before it could comment.


Comments (21)

Whats wrong with you people. There is virtually nothing in your story that shows the "Zim poll secrets being exposed". You are fools.

Ndugu - 21 September 2014

@Ndugu you are the fool ndoda. The story clearly says that the South African judges in the high and supreme courts have had a look at the Kampepe Report. This means that the secrets are essentially now out.

Khumalo - 21 September 2014

One thing that gets really mad is people in Africa saying colonialism, which brought the schools that they crave so much, and the colonialism which brought industries to this backward continent, was bad. How can colonialism be bad when it brought ox-drawn ploughs (gejo) when whole villages were sharing a single backbreaking hand-hoe (badza) to do some tilling of sorts? I don't accept the nonsense that “don't criticise your own”! You are supposed to praise your own when you know it's not true? Who is fooling who? I find it very patronising to see a black politician, whose school and college fees were paid by a white colonialists, standing in front of crowds pretending to lambaste colonialism. The hopelessly docile and gullible people don't even have the courage to ask these hypocrites why they accepted white man's school and college fees in the past. Most of these black politicians once worked as civil servants in the Southern Rhodesia government and were given houses to rent in the townships by the whites whom they blame so that they can get or remain in power. That, to me, is hypocrisy of the highest order. These shameless black politicians whose education was sponsored by the whites call themselves “heroes” for being elected into power by the people. How silly is that! It really gets me mad to be honest. The black politicians' paid apologists will try and spin that although education was brought by the colonialists to Africa and Zimbabwe the colonialists did not start education in the world. But they brought it here. Without them all black politicians would not be where they are now - they were mothered by the whites. To hell with this nonsense. People are being taken for a ride by this shyster politicians. They are having the best of both worlds while the gullible die for these shysters to remain in power. That is the truth. The lying has to stop for the sake of progress.

Musona - 21 September 2014

First sentence above should read, "One thing that gets me really mad is people in Africa saying colonialism, which brought the schools that they crave so much, and the colonialism which brought industries to this backward continent, was bad".

Musona - 21 September 2014

@Musona you are right the lying has to stop for the sake of progress

see no evil,hear no evil, speak no evil! - 21 September 2014

Dont worry, Trevor Ncube's newspapers in Zimbabwe are now 80% owned by Mugabe's spies so M&G will be told to shut up and will get some diamond money for that

Chamboko - 21 September 2014

exposed or not exposed, hapana zvamunotiita isu veZANU PF. wasting your tym and resources

wind - 22 September 2014

Eish Musona you are at it again. Keep on telling them brother. The damn fools think they can just wash away history by lying and lying. The one whose voice gets the most hoarse in abusing whites named his last born son after a Roman Catholic priest who taught him at Kutama because he had admiration for him yet he conveniently paints all whites with the same brush. What a farce what a hypocrite

rudolph - 22 September 2014

I blame SADC leaders, in particular the South African government under Thabo Mbeki for all the woes we face today for calling a spade a big spoon. They had a torrid time trying to stitch up words to use in their statement after the elections , just as they have been doing since the year 2000. When Jacob Zuma came we thought the tide would turn but that was not be, it was business as usual for him. If they had called a spade a spade as the European Union did, the whole Southern African region would be a beacon in Africa. Zimbabwe is such an embarrassment , a country with one of the highest literacy rates on the continent, endowed with just about every mineral known to man, is also ranked as one of the poorest on earth just because a bunch of old men will not go on retirement.

Dr Know - 22 September 2014

musateerere musona murungu azere neshungu. mapoliticians akadzidziswa nemachurch kwete nasmith. machurch emhando zhinji ndiwoakavamba zvikoro zvizhinji mu rhodesia yatava kuti zimbabwe. people were already developing. it was the bassas of this musona who disturbed our progress towards economic development. as a people we were trading with the arabs, indians, portuugese and fellow africans way back before the whites came uninvited. they did not come for the purpose of educating blacks but to loot our wealth. smith didn't like the idea that churches were educating blacks because he new that education would empower them and truely it did - hence the war of liberation. today they are no longer ruling the country and for that musona is very bitter. he has no chance at it again. zimbabwe is for zimbabweans not the brits they have their own land.

taurai - 22 September 2014

This is a good example of MAJORING IN MINORS!!...talking of elections that took place over a decade ago!! Some people have all the time to waste!!

ZVOKWADI - 22 September 2014

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 22 September 2014

Iwe Zvokwadi . Ko imi munotaura nezvehondo yakapera three and a half decades ago wani? Dzese ihistory ngadzitaurwe.

John Banda - 22 September 2014

A white missionaries were white persons who I classify as white colonialists. If a black politician was sponsored by white missionaries he was sponsored by white colonialists. WHITE MISSIONARIES WERE COLONIALISTS AS WELL. Without these white colonial missionaries these politicians would not be where they are now. Schools in Mbare like Chirodzo, Gwinyai, Chitsere, Shingirai, Nharira and George Stack primary school were built by whites in the 1930s solely for the children of urban workers very long before Smith came to power in 1964 even if whites had not signed any contract to educate blacks. I did not see the Smith government destroying black schools, they built more instead using their own money. Blacks did not pay any income tax. I was educated long before Smith came into power. No white person came to me to say I should not go to school or college. During white rule those very poor black families who could not afford to pay the nominal school fees got REMISSION. I don't know where people get this idea that whites had come to Africa to educate black people, or to build houses for them or employ them in their companies even if they did. Do people honestly believe whites had run out of things to do in UK and decided to come all the way to educate blacks? That would be stupid for anyone to do that. The colonialists came settle and look for wealth for themselves not to mother black people. I have yet to see someone who is rich in the Third World who goes around handing sacks of money to people. Did people expect whites to hand sacks of money to them while they sat on their back sides doing nothing? If black education was incidental then I do not see anything wrong with that. Some of us, black politicians included, took full advantage. “War of Liberation” by minor Joice Mujuru, from the Reserves, who had no idea what was going on politically and was only running away from school? Utter nonsense.

Musona - 22 September 2014

First sentence should read, "White missionaries were white persons who I classify as white colonialists".

Musona - 22 September 2014

Before 1890 there was no nation-state. The Ndebeles also came and settled in the now Matebeleland around 1830 and routinely raided the weaker Karanga before the whites came which is why there are the Kalanga in Matabeleland - a mixture of Ndebele and Karanga. The whites who came in 1890 did what the Ndebele did in 1830. It's a bit tricky to try and send the Ndebeles back to Zululand because they came just before the whites forced them into one nation with the northern tribes who were living separately in small village clusters. Zimbabwe's black history is very very dodgy (embroidered) and has to be corrected first before we can make progress. I used to watch listen to Aeneas Chigwedere and James Dzova on TV going through history lies and I used to shake my head in disbelief at the lies these two were saying when nobody could read or write before 1890.

Musona - 22 September 2014

To @Khumalo I never called you a fool in my post so I dont any reason of you calling me one. Anyway I still maintain that the daily news people are fools becoz they did not tell us the exposed secrets which is suggested by the article heading.

Ndugu - 22 September 2014

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kumakomoyo - 23 September 2014

@Musona you are being disingenuous, granted there were benefits from being colonised please tell us the downside??

Ini zvangu - 23 September 2014

musona ngaapihwe column,his commentary is spot on?nhai Vamusona konyaya iyi yekuti robert na edgartekere where intentionally released from prison zvarongwa kuti vano pinda kumoza and infiltrate the hierachy which was fast moving to the east,Vamahachi vanoziva chokwadi kushaiwa roadblock ???all the way to rekai tangweana only on that nite,and how soon and fast did he rise ,some blowing up in cars,,history inoda kumbobvunzwa kuti wakanyorwa nani..mubvunzo chete

Chihombori - 23 September 2014

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