SA Presidency urged to investigate disappearance of Zim election report

via SA Presidency urged to investigate disappearance of Zim election report | SW Radio Africa February 25, 2014

The South African Presidency has been urged to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of a previously hidden Zimbabwe election report, or risk giving credence to suspicions that Jacob Zuma’s office was deliberately keeping secrets about the state of the neighbouring polls.

The report, compiled by two South African judges on the 2002 polls, contained enough evidence to show the process was neither free nor fair. This was the ruling by South African High Court Judge Joseph Raulinga last February when he ordered the Presidency to hand over the document to the Mail & Guardian newspaper.

Raulinga has since revealed that the document, which he was keeping in his office, went missing earlier this month. Raulinga reportedly said he had suspicions and was investigating the matter. According to the Mail & Guardian Raulinga asked state attorney Petros Rakoatsi why he had made several unsolicited and unsuccessful attempts to access the report. Rakoatsi then wrote a letter rejecting any insinuation that he had knowledge of where the report was, or that he had a hand in its disappearance.

Joy Mabenge, the South African based regional coordinator for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said a thorough investigation was needed and Zuma’s government must get involved. Mabenge told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that Zuma’s office was risking giving credence to speculation that the government was deliberating hiding information that proved the Zim polls were illegitimate.

“It is on record that the 2002 elections in Zimbabwe were marred by violence and the result raised a huge spectre on the legitimacy of the winner, Robert Mugabe. What worries us is the role that South Africa then went on to play in mediating the crisis in Zimbabwe. The role was supposedly being played on the basis that South Africa had clean hands,” Mabenge said.

He added: “It is disturbing to know of this disappearance, because it gives credence to speculation around the non-willingness of South African authorities to let Zimbabweans and other players know the truth about what happened in the elections in 2002.”

The report was commissioned the then President Thabo Mbeki, who sent the two judges to visit Zimbabwe and report back on the state of the elections that year. This report was handed over to Mbeki but never made public, although the former President insisted the electoral process was completely democratic.

A lengthy court process has followed with the Mail & Guardian leading various efforts since 2008 to have the report released by the Zuma administration. Numerous orders have been issued by South Africa’s court to the Presidency for the release of the report to the newspaper, but each time Zuma’s office has appealed. Last February Justice Raulinga again ordered the release of the document, but Zuma’s office again stated its intentions to appeal. That appeal is expected later this year, but the disappearance of the report means the process is likely to be suspended.

At the same time, there has still been no sign of a similarly ‘damning’ report on Zimbabwe’s disputed 2008 elections, compiled by six South African army generals. That report has also been kept hidden by the Zuma administration.

The Crisis Coalition’s Mabenge said Tuesday that the situation supports the general belief that South Africa, the regional mediator in Zimbabwe’s political crisis, was willing to flout democratic principles and regional electoral laws to put the long-running Zim situation to bed. He added that this is particularly worrying in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 elections, which South Africa endorsed.

“The expectation for many Zimbabweans would have been for the South African government to stand on the principles of the truth as observed in the two election reports. Sweeping these reports under the carpet means burying these issues for good and gives credence, again, to the suspicion that South Africa’s interest has always been about seeing a stable Zimbabwe at any cost, even if it is a huge cost to Zimbabweans,” Mabenge said.

He added: “We still expect the South African government to investigate the disappearance of the report and give a timely response to the Mail & Guardian, South Africans and Zimbabweans, so the issue is concluded in an amicable way that does not have a negative effect on how Zimbabweans may perceive the role of South Africa in derailing the democratisation of Zimbabwe.”

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20 comments on “SA Presidency urged to investigate disappearance of Zim election report
  1. apolitical says:

    MDC probably took it because it contained nothing would have embarrassed then again

    • Nintalan says:

      You hardly sound apolitical chief.

      Both Mbeki and Zuma have strenuously worked to conceal this document from the public. And Zuma has the power and influence to order this theft. Not hard to put two and two together is it?

      This document must have some hugely damaging information about the 2002 elections. It says a lot about the integrity of South Africa’s leaders that they have consistently withheld this information, thereby supporting a brutal and illegitimate regime. It puts into perspective their roles in downplaying the carnage of the 2008 election, their mediation role with the GPA, and their acceptance of the disputed election that followed.

    • chessplayer says:

      Apolitical…you need your head examined.

    • zim reeper says:

      Is that english apo?

    • adam jones says:

      not worth responding to.

  2. this just shows that south africa is on its way to a zimbabwe type of destination. south africa can be described as the titanic with captain zuma at the controls and all are partying like mad ( including of course all the whiteys !) and happily rearranging the deck chairs – BUT we all know the ice bergs are out there – pity most south africans dont know that or care !! – the party must go on comrades.

  3. Roving Ambassador says:

    Its within Pretoria’s interest to have a disfunctional Zimbabwe. A big market for their products and cheap labour.

  4. Fanwell says:

    Apolitical. A-pathetic

  5. ike says:

    Apolitical, rewrite what you wanted to say in the vernacular language. You don’t make sense at all.

  6. Zvichanaka says:

    This regime has never been legitimate from day 1. There no honor nor integrity in this cabal

  7. davison renet hove says:

    South Africans – you have more problems of your own at home, looking for a report for Zimbabwean election of 2002 now. what will you do with the findings. don’t you have any thing do in your country?. your economy is going down each day . i thing Zuma has a lot to do at home than look for the report.

  8. Rwendo says:

    It speaks to how the ANC is likely to behave one day, when they are faced with a serious challenger for power.

  9. maita says:

    They are copying ideas so don’t worry. Banda has done the same, copy from us how to run (read rig) an election. From what ZanuPf did in July 2013 it will be now difficult to remove a sitting government in Africa through the ballot box, no there are many ghosts in those boxes. They are all coming to ZEC to copy.

  10. Tozvirevakupiko says:

    African solutions for African problems…..zvakaoma!

  11. Charles Chamunorwa says:

    South Africa is not sincere on the Zimbabwean crisis. That’s why Botswana has said it won’t be involved in future SADC election observer missions. South Africa is only there to indorse Mugabe. Zuma was so quick to indorse the disputed 2013 elections, a sharp contrast to the delayed election results of 2008 and South Africa kept quiet. South Africa is there to ensure that Mugabe is in power

  12. ike says:

    SA benefits from skilled labor from the comrades north of Limpopo. They say zimbos never get tired at work.

  13. Khaya'bonina says:

    Well from 2002 down on the line , 12 years backwards this is not going to be helpful , SADC failed to give us a comprehensive report pertaining last year’s elections , SA is part of SADC , lets just give up and forget .

    What pisses me off is that countries like SA have benefited a lot to the down fall and unstable situation of Zim , these are the same countries which will never wish to see Zim reviving from its economic problems .

  14. stobbs says:

    its strange that the normal man on the street has known that South Africa,was ,is and always will be a friend to zanu pf,,what boggles the mind is how MDC kept on from 2002 till today going into elections whole heartedly thus falling into the trap of legitamising an illegal government,,,three elections been duped by the same trick,,,I now know why MDC have been made laughing stock they are very singularly dull

  15. Mthwakazi says:

    Zuma should attend to gukurahundi victims first before worrying about this elections report. Gukurahundi occured first in the 1980s; it is priority number one!!

  16. apollo says:

    South africa is just as corrupt as zimbabwe are we really surprised the report went missing

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