Mugabe stole election — SA

via Mugabe stole election — SA 17 November 2014

JOHANNESBURG — The highly sought-after report on the controversial 2002 presidential elections which was compiled by two South African High Court judges at the request of ex-South African President Thabo Mbeki was released to the public last Friday following a lengthy legal battle.

The report, which found the Zimbabwe elections of 2002 not to be free or fair, was released following several court applications spanning over five years by South African-based Mail&Guardian newspaper.

The report was first published on the Mail&Guardian’s website at the weekend after the newspaper had applied to access it in terms of South Africa’s Promotion of Access to Information Act.

“These (Zimbabwe) elections (of 2002), in our view, cannot be considered to be free and fair,” said then High Court judges Dikgang Moseneke and Sisi Khampepe in the report.

Moseneke was appointed deputy chief justice of South Africa by Mbeki in 2005.

The elections were controversially won by Zanu PF’s President Robert Mugabe who went on to win the successive 2008 and 2013 elections under controversial circumstances with his rival MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai citing massive rigging and voter intimidation.

The MDC-T yesterday hailed the report, saying it confirmed its earlier concerns that Mugabe rigged the polls.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said: “We are happy as MDC that the report has vindicated us. We have always been saying Zanu PF did not win the 2002 and the successive elections held thereafter.

“Publication of the report today, 12 years later, is sad news to the MDC because it’s too late to reverse the clock of time, the economy has nose-dived to unprecedented levels and 85% of Zimbabweans are now surviving on less than a dollar per day. It would have been better had the report come earlier as that would have allowed the African Union and Sadc to order a re-election.”

Gutu added: “But, all the same it’s a clarion call on AU, Sadc and other regional and international bodies to take the opposition’s concerns seriously. Moseneke and Khampepe are respected jurists internationally and their judgment cannot be disputed.”

The South African judges said they reached the conclusion that Zimbabwe’s 2002 presidential election was not “free and fair” after “having regard to all the circumstances, and in particular the cumulative substantial departures from international standards of free and fair elections found in Zimbabwe during the pre-election period.”

The report found, among other things, that 107 people mainly MDC supporters had died in the midst of pre-election violence and intimidation in certain areas of the country.

The deaths were believed to be politically motivated killings of mostly opposition politicians, between March 2000 and March 2002.

This violence and intimidation had the effect of curtailing freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly and association of voters to varying degrees.

The judges noted that Zimbabwe’s electoral laws were also “drastically amended and manipulated by executive decrees”, the consequences of which were felt upon voter education and the voters’ roll.

On the polling days, there were a reduced number of voting stations in urban areas, particularly Harare and Chitungwiza, but the report acknowledged that in other constituencies, polling stations were easily accessible and their operations conducted satisfactory.

The secrecy of the ballot was also found to have been generally respected and impartial assistance given to voters where necessary.

“We observed no material counting irregularities,” Khampepe and Moseneke said in their report. “If any existed, they were not drawn to our attention or reported on.”

The two judges were sent to Zimbabwe by Mbeki as observers during the 2002 elections.

The Mail&Guardian reported that the report was made public on Friday afternoon after a ruling by the Constitutional Court, following the newspaper’s legal battle for access to the report.

At one time, the report was said to have gone missing, raising speculation that the South African authorities wanted to sweep it under the carpet because of its adverse contents.

The report draws on the work of Danish political science professors Jorgen Elklit and Palle Svensson, who set out criteria to evaluate the “free-ness” and fairness of an election.

These include international standards relating to the time prior to voting day, on the polling days, during ballot counting and after the election.

South African President Jacob Zuma was among the first regional leaders to endorse last year’s July 31 election which was again controversially “won” by Mugabe and Zanu PF, sparking an outcry from many Zimbabweans who condemned the poll as neither free, fair, nor credible. — Sapa/Staff Reporter

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 16
  • comment-avatar
    ntaba 7 years ago

    This is such a surprise. A peace loving party like Zanu with such a wonderful track record (according to the likes of Malcolm Fraser, Henry Kissinger and Ian Scoones) would surely not dream of cheating?

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    Doris 7 years ago

    So we have been living a lie for the pact 12 years.

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    Chanisa 7 years ago

    It has been clear even since then that Zimbabwe was ruled by a criminal cabal. The international world did all it could to level the field and create room for local reformers to maneuver and secure justice but all to nought. These are the limits of international law.

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    The only ting new this report shows is SAs complicity in the subsequent 12 years grinding of Zimbabweans. When Uncle Thabo gets his cut, Zimbabweans can go to hell. Isn’t that what African presidents were made for?

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    mark longhurst 7 years ago

    This is proof that Zuma and ANC are complicit in assiting Bob cheat lie and steal , that was evident when dhlamini lied again and again about her hero Mugabe and is now chair of the AU ,what a fekin typical African lie-is there a single honest politician left in Africa???

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      Petal 7 years ago

      100% right what are the lawmakers including the the highest organ the AU and now going to do about it not forgetting SADC?????

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      Kevin 7 years ago

      Not just Zuma but Thabo Mbeki as well. They are the great betrayers of African people and are as guilty as those they protect of the murders and crimes against humanity. Mbeki is also a hypocrite carrying on about the African Renaissance, whilst protecting the dictators and kleptocrats.

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    I seem to remember that sometime between the 2008 elections and the 2008 run-offs, that Mugabe either gave Mbaki lots of land or a cut of the diamonds. Either way, he’s far from impartial!

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    may the truth come out about 2008 and 2013. The Lord will reveal.

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    Ndine Mbiri 7 years ago

    Has the time not come to hold all who suppressed the release of this report criminally liable for the delay of justice for those who perished during the said and successive elections.

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    Kenneth Chinyama 7 years ago

    The million dollar question is then President of SA Thabo Mbeki was the first person to declare the election Free and Fair with this report on his table and dismissed the MDC call for election re-run. Why???? What was he trying to achieve. Should we trust him anymore?? This is disgusting to know that a sitting President lied in front of the whole world??? How does he feel now Shame!!!!

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    A lot has been said about the people voted for the Government so they deserve it. Some of us have been unmoved in our stance that there was blatant rigging. Who is to say that SADEC leaders were not hearing suggestions from Mugabe that he would hand over power a few months after winning the election? He talks about trust but SADEC should have known that Mugabe cannot be trusted. He has done more uturns than anybody on the Political scene. SADEC will shoulder the blame for the suffering of the masses. One can only hope one day Zimbabwe might get a legitimate Government who will refuse to be in this club of Aspiring dictators who have assisted in making Zimbabwe a living hell.
    George Ayittey said:
    Dictators are allergic to reform, and they are cunning survivors. They will do whatever it takes to preserve their power and wealth, no matter how much blood ends up on their hands. They are master deceivers and talented manipulators who cannot be trusted to change.

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    Garikayi 7 years ago

    What a joke from our southern neighbour…keeping a report under the carpet for 12 years and yet the contents of the report were leaked to the media in the very same year 2002. So there is no story here apart from correcting history. SADC is comprised of a gang of people who lived as brothers during the struggle era so WE NEED A NEW REGIONAL ORDER CHAMPIONED BY THE LABOUR MOVEMENTS, excluding Malema who is being used to discredit others and yet we know he is an ANC thing!!!

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    Tellit 7 years ago

    Mbeki condoned those elections, as Chinyama said, He lied in front of the world stage SO, South Africa has been ordered to investigate Mugabe and Zanu for crimes against Humanity … Well if Mbeki lied and and condoned the author of those in-humanities the he is an accomplice.
    Lets pertition for that, lock the filth up…. what an example that would set.

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    Petal 7 years ago

    What are the Lawmakers going to do??? including AU and SADC???

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    J.M. Zwana 7 years ago

    Electoral politics in Zimbabwe has been visited by bad luck between 2002 and 2013. Mugabe and Tsvangirai have dominated the scene during that time. Their continuation in leadership positions promises more political monkey business. This report brought out nothing new or shocking other than revelation of the status quo ante. For the sake of a progressive future Zimbabwe, the two toughies should be told that their time of messing up is over. The house needs to be put back in order for coming generations. How about new sweeping brooms for 2018 which, by the way, Zimbabwe has plenty of?