Back to Index
wins a victory in the Supreme Court
of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
November 26, 2010
At 10am this
morning, 26 November 2010, Justice Garwe, the Supreme Court judge
of appeals, handed down a ruling on the 2008 challenge taken by
WOZA leaders, Jennifer Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu. The verbal
ruling granted that the two women had been wrongfully arrested and
detained and, as a result, had their rights and fundamental freedoms
violated. Justice Garwe also ruled that the state had failed to
protect the activists from this abuse. The application for a repealing
of section 37 (1) (a) (i) of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act was dismissed and reason will
be made available.
Mahlangu were arrested on 16
October 2008 at the Mhlahlandlela Government Complex after a
peaceful protest to demand that all Zimbabweans be provided with
access to humanitarian aid. At that time there was widespread starvation
and no food on the shelves and government had banned humanitarian
aid. They were arrested and detained in Bulawayo Central Police
Station and taken to court two days later charged under C/S 37 (1)
(a) (i) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter
9:23: "Acting together with one or more other persons with
him/her in any place realizing that there is a real risk or possibility
of disturbing peace, security or order of the public".
They were denied bail
and sent first to Grey Street Prison and then to Mlondolozi Prison
where they were held for three weeks. A successful High Court appeal
granted them their freedom although initially restricting them to
a 40km radius of their homes.
Williams and Mahlangu
eagerly wait to have sight of the written ruling and to be able
to prepare for a legal suit against the police for wrongful arrest
and for damages.
the WOZA fact
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.