SA, Zim at war over generals

via SA, Zim at war over generals November 29, 2013 by Everson Mushava NewsDay

PROSECUTOR-GENERAL Johannes Tomana yesterday warned that a recent South African court ruling compelling South Africa to arrest Zimbabwean military chiefs over the 2008 human rights violations might spark a diplomatic tiff between the two neighbouring countries.

Tomana described the ruling made by South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal on Wednesday as “absurd” and showing grave contempt of other countries’ territorial integrity. He said South African courts were behaving as if Zimbabwe was a province of South Africa.

“South Africa cannot arrest Zimbabwe military chiefs without violating the Geneva Conventions. They would be sparking a diplomatic row,” Tomana said, adding Zimbabwe was not a signatory to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that the court order referred to.

“Zimbabwe has its own law enforcement systems which have not failed by the way. It is important for nations to respect each other. It is like they are saying they are better than us and can supervise us.”

The South African court ordered the South African Police Services (SAPS) to investigate high-level Zimbabwean security chiefs accused of committing gross human rights crimes in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election runoff.

This followed a petition by the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum and the South African Litigation Centre seeking an order to force the SA police to probe Zimbabwean security officials involved in past human rights abuses.

Tomana added: “The ruling by SA is pushing us to uncomfortable levels. SA should come out open if it still wants diplomatic ties with us. Zimbabwe cannot go and demand to investigate the Marikana murders because SA is a sovereign State. Likewise, SA cannot do the same on Zimbabwe. It is disrespectful,” he said.

According to the landmark ruling, South Africa can now investigate perpetrators of organised torture from Zimbabwe irrespective of whether or not they were physically present in SA. The ruling was premised on the understanding that South Africa is a signatory to the 2002 Rome Statute of the ICC.

The MDC-T, which claims that over 200 of its supporters were killed in the 2008 electoral violence, welcomed the SA court ruling.

“The position of the MDC-T is that, Zimbabweans who were violated by State institutions and officials are entitled to justice. Regrettably, because of the selective application of the law by Tomana, the culprits have not been brought to book,” said MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora.

“Therefore, the ruling by SA is most welcome because it ensures justice for the victims. The ruling is justified because of the absence of justice back home. We believe Tomana’s arrogant response is coming from someone who is guilty of ignoring the persecution of Zimbabweans by government and the militia.”

However, Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa yesterday said the party had not yet received the court ruling.

But party leader President Robert Mugabe early this year accused the SA courts of spoiling for a fight with Zimbabwe.

Political analyst Ernest Mudzengi said the order had the potential of damaging diplomatic relations between Harare and Pretoria.

Another political analyst who requested anonymity said no arrests of Zimbabwean security chiefs would be made as long as Zanu PF was in power.



  • comment-avatar
    Tired 8 years ago

    what you gonna do – close the border ??

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    And in the words of Nkosazana Zuma “it is up to Zimbabweans themselves to respect their court decisions or not to”. Surely this time it is up to the South African Government to respect the decisions of their courts or not. There is no need to cut off ties although if there is a disagreement so be it. If this decision is a provocation as Tomana puts it then it is and it must be dealt with as it is. This is a court decision and not Thabo Mbeki’s wattling and primitive false revelations which are only to protect businesses in Zimbabwe. It is not like the reckless talks of a “street woman like Lindiwe Zulu or confused historian Maharaj who says he fought along side zanu against apartheid. Its a South African court decision and the Executive in South Africa cannot over night over rule a court decision or arm twist judges to favor the dictatorial ruling party. So if the generals want to invade South African courts they are free to do so with help of the ANC of course. At this point it is a court decision that South Africans must recognize or do something about according to their constitution.

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    1) There is no “integrity” in Zimbabwe, let alone teritorial itegrity.
    2)There is no rule of law in the corrupt courts of Zimbabwe so citizens need to have access to legal representation and they can only find it in SA.
    3) The absurdity is on your side Tomana to think that you are so protected by the boundaries of this country that you think justice will not find you and the rest of the creeps that have caused mayhem under the zanu protective smoke screen you set up. Well the wind of misfortune for you has arrived and the smoke is dissapating and is leaving you all exposed.
    4) Tomana you and your zpf gangsters managed the ultimate corruption in stealing the will of the people in Zimbabwe, and now you are all further exposed and now dispised by probably 80% of our citizens of our country.
    5)Tomana if you and the rest of your gangsters are not shivering in your boots over this court proceeding that is no doubt supported by the millions who hate you then you are a blithering idiot living in a state of a false sense of security.
    6)To those who support this court ruling and can increase the veracity of it in any way, lets do it and have the murderers incarcerated one way or another, for the sake of those who have been tortured, raped, and murdered.

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    Jambanja 8 years ago

    Wow, what good news to learn that the South African Police Service is mandated to investigate Zimbabwean officials for human rights violations.

    As far has l know as l know the South African courts have failed thir own people, take alook at the Marikana massacre the case hasn’t been finalised yet the courts are still going up and down, onwards and backwards oh what the hell, they cannot even come to a conclussion of who is responsible.

    What about the Andries Tatane case, the Mozambiquen taxi driver murdered by police just to name a few. Isn’t this human rights violations. The South African courts do not recognise human rights violations in their own country but happen to see the wrongs happenning in Zimbabwe.

    If the South African police wants to investigate the human rights violations in Zimbabwe then the Zimbabwean police must also investigate the Marikana massacre tit for tat!

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    bam bam 8 years ago

    Luv to see the generals and their cohorts imprisoned in south african jails. I can see the south african using this as a stick to keep the gangsters in Zanuland in line given that Maleama is one of mugabes dogs causing trouble for the ANC

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    nyati 8 years ago

    Hey Tomana has a foul mouth. He pretends not to know that Zuma and government vare actually fighting to prevent the court from going ahead with pushing for the arrests. Zuma is not equal to courts unlikevin zim where mugabe is the everything.

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    TOHUMANA tomana WE Zimbabweans hate U

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    Wohumana Tomana.

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    ROCKSTONE 8 years ago

    Uku ndo kunonzi kuteya nzou neriva ,southafrica has powerful resourses but their judiciary system is not that vibrant enough to tackle this issue

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    Be fun to watch!!

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    Michael 8 years ago

    Bravo, well said.