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case reaches top SA court
Mapuranga, The Zimbabwean
October 30, 2013
The South African
Supreme Court of Appeal will on Friday this week hear arguments
in the landmark Zimbabwe torture case, which was brought by the
Southern Africa Litigation Centre and the Zimbabwean
Exiles Forum to compel South Africa to abide by its domestic
and international legal obligations to investigate and prosecute
high level Zimbabwean officials accused of crimes against humanity.
High Court ruling in this case was very clear, the South African
authorities have a legal duty to investigate allegations of torture
against senior Zimbabwean officials,” said Angela Mudukuti,
SALC’s international criminal justice project lawyer. “The
Supreme Court of Appeal has the opportunity to reinforce that decision
and ensure that perpetrators of these terrible crimes do not find
sanctuary in South Africa and are held accountable for their actions.”
In May 2012,
the North Gauteng High Court ruled in favour of SALC and ZEF and
set aside the decision of the National Prosecuting Authority and
the South African Police Services) not to initiate an investigation
into state-sanctioned torture in Zimbabwe, following a police raid
on the headquarters of the Movement for Democratic Change in 2007.
Judge Hans Fabricius
held that the South African authorities had not acted in accordance
with their obligations under the domestic legislation and ruled
that the decision had been taken unlawfully and unconstitutionally.
The NPA and
SAPS petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal after the High Court
refused leave to appeal.
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