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NPA ordered to investigate Zim officials
Zim officials in SA accused of crimes against humanity to be investigated.
PRETORIA - In a landmark judgment, the North Gauteng High Court ordered the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to investigate and prosecute high level Zimbabwean officials in South Africa who are accused of crimes against humanity.
The Southern African Litigation Centre and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum brought the case to the court after they said police and NPA ignored their repeated requests for an investigation.
The two applicants said they were elated with the victory.
The case has been dragging on for more than two years after they presented the NPA with a dossier detailing the involvement of high level Zimbabwean officials in state-sanctioned torture, more than four years ago.
Lawyers for the applicants said arguments made in the course of the court hearing showed how political concerns improperly influenced the NPA’s initial decision not to pursue the investigation and how it also failed to understand South Africa’s legal obligations under the international criminal court act it has signed.
They said the decision comes at a crucial time with Zimbabwean elections expected to be called soon and that the judgment sets an important precedent sending a message that South Africa will not be a refuge for perpetrators of crimes against humanity.
(Edited by Clare Matthes)