via Pro-Zanu PF business group sues Zuma – New Zimbabwe – 28/04/2015
A ZANU PF linked business lobby group approached the South African High Court on Tuesday seeking an order to force President Jacob Zuma to declare a state of emergency and craft a law against xenophobia within a year of the order.
According to court seen by NewZimbabwe.com is in possession of, two groups – Black Business Forum Zimbabwe fronted by businessman-cum political activist Tafadzwa Musarara and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum – are listed as applicants in the case filed with the North Gauteng High Court.
Musarara, in his application cites South Africa, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, Foreign Affairs (Maite Nkoana-Mashabane), the country’s national director of public prosecutions, Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete, national police commissioner (Riah Phiyega), police minister Nathi Nhleko and defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as respondents.
In the application that is likely to ruffle feathers and torch a diplomatic row between Zimbabwe and its southern neighbour, Musarara wants the “the President of the Republic of South Africa (compelled to) declare a State of Emergency in xenophobic hot-spots in terms of the State of Emergency Act 64 of 1997”.
He is seeking an injunction to force Zuma, Nhleko and Mshabane to “jointly put in place effective mechanisms and structures to stop the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals and protect the lives and property of all foreign nationals regardless of race in the Republic of South Africa.”
The applicants, represented by Johannesburg based Mogoboya, Dooling Attorneys, also wants Speaker Mbete to be directed and ordered “to ensure the moving of a motion, and debate on an anti-Xenophobia law within a year of this Judgement.
“Jointly with parliament, that the department of Home Affairs takes all necessary measures to prevent the violation and encroachment of the benefits held by foreign permit holders, in particular to, within a year of this order, conduct a comprehensive review of, and the setting aside of any law or regulation that may lead to an unconstitutional violation of, and prejudice to the rights of foreign nationals in South Africa, in particular, asylum seekers and refugees.”
The applicants also wants Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and Zuma’s son Edward among other people implicated in fanning the anti-immigrant violence to be investigated, arrested and prosecuted for the crimes.
South Africa must also commit to taking steps or “irrevocably commit to compensate and place all persons affected of their previous status and benefit prior to the xenophobic attacks that have, or may in future occur in the Republic” as well as taking over the running of all holding camps currently housing thousands of foreign nationals affected by the attacks.
Zuma, according to the submissions, should also be ordered to institutionalise the anti-xenophobia campaign including the establishment of a commission within 30-days of the order for re-integration of affected foreigners into their original communities.
The Black Business Forum, according to court papers, is a membership-based organisation of Zimbabweans who, before the 18th April, 1980, were disadvantaged by unfair discrimination on the grounds of their race.
Zulu king Zwelithini reportedly told a gathering of Pongolo Community Members during a moral regeneration event last month that “foreign nationals to pack their belongings and go back to their countries” which Musarara and his co-applicants argue was an incitement to violence that led to mass displacements and killings.
The application chronicles cases of xenophobia and related killings since the 2008 outbreak that claimed the lives of more about 62 people adding Zwelithini’s Imbizo early this month was a desperate attempt “by a cornered man desperate to avoid indictment in South Africa and at the International Criminal Court”.
Musarara also argued that the conviction rate on xenophobia related crimes is “suspiciously” very low.
“It is equally worrying to note that there has been no political will to craft and enact hate crimes legislation that outlaws acts of xenophobia,” he said.
He said South Africa is bound by regional and international statutes to protect all people regardless of their citizenship.
The applicants claim that if the attacks are left unchecked, the economic situation in the region will deteriorate affecting millions, adding that Zuma’s delay in declaring a State of Emergency is an abdication of responsibility and failure in executing his duties.