President Robert Mugabe’s call to the African National Congress (ANC) to ignore the recent ruling by the Pretoria High Court that South Africa must investigate Zimbabwean officials over allegations of torture has been dismissed by the ANC.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said his party will respect the rule of law.
Speaking at yesterday’s opening ceremony of the meeting of former liberation movements gathered in Harare, Mugabe said the liberation political parties have to guard against “renewed efforts by the West to recolonise Africa”.
“We have to be alert and alive as liberation movements because the imperialists are searching for avenues to recolonise us
and the recent ruling by a Boer in South Africa is a case which our colleagues in ANC have to deal with,” Mugabe said.
Mugabe was referring to the ruling in favour of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), and the Zimbabwean Exiles Forum (ZEF), many of whose members fled to South Africa accusing Zimbabwe’s security agents of torture.
They argued that because South Africa recognises the International Criminal Court (ICC), it is obliged to act on allegations of torture, which is classified as a crime against humanity.
The Pretoria court ruled that under international law, South Africa has a duty to investigate crimes against humanity in Zimbabwe once the perpetrators set foot in South Africa.
However, in response to Mugabe’s call for solidarity against the ruling, Mantashe said his country would respect the courts’ ruling.
“The ANC does not ignore the rule of law, so we respect the ruling made in the High Court,” he said.
The ANC’s position comes as another blow to Zanu PF which recently suffered a major setback after last week’s Sadc Troika in Angola refused to budge on its demands to hold elections without the full implementation of agreed reforms.