Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Zim government divided over SA torture ruling

Zim government divided over SA torture ruling

09 May 2012 02:02 – AFP

Zimbabwe’s justice minister has denounced a South African court’s ruling 
ordering an investigation of those accused of torturing Zanu-PF opponents.

“The ruling brings the South African justice system into disrepute. No 
specifics have been identified, because they should have laid a blow-by-blow 
account of what crime has been committed,” Patrick Chinamasa told state 
media on Wednesday.

In a landmark judgment, the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday ruled that 
authorities in South Africa can probe and prosecute not only high-level 
crimes committed in neighbouring Zimbabwe, but anywhere else in the world.

The case centres on Zimbabwean officials accused of state-sanctioned torture 
against scores of activists following a raid on the headquarters of the 
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in 2007.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is now the prime minister in a power-sharing 
government with Mugabe.

His party hailed the decision.

“Torture is a barbaric instrument of dealing with issues of politics,” 
spokesperson Nelson Chamisa told Agence France-Presse.

“For that reason it remains our wish that all people of Zimbabwe with 
injured hearts and troubled minds are brought to restorative and 
rehabilitative, as opposed to retributive, justice … The pains of the past 
will always haunt the stability of the future. It is vitally important that 
things are brought to the table instead of being swept under the carpet.”

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum filed 
the case in Pretoria seeking to force prosecutors to open an investigation, 
citing South Africa’s obligations to the International Criminal Court.

The two groups want South Africa to arrest and prosecute 17 Zimbabweans 
accused of torture in 2007 if they enter the country for holiday, shopping 
or seeking medical treatment. — AFP


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