The South African court yesterday dismissed an application for leave to appeal against last month’s ruling that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and South African Police Services (SAPS) must investigate crimes against humanity committed in Zimbabwe.
In dismissing the application Judge Hans Fabricius concluded that an appeal has no reasonable prospects of success and noted that even if leave to appeal had been granted, he would not have suspended the initiation of an investigation pending the outcome of an appeal.
The application, brought by the NPA and SAPS, was in response to the High Court’s landmark ruling in favour of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre’s (SALC) and Zimbabwe Exile Forum’s (ZEF). The Pretoria High Court decision last month applies to Zimbabweans in South Africa and could be extended to those who have travel plans to the country.
Judge Fabricius dismissed both arguments finding that NPA and SAPS failed to demonstrate that this case was not brought in the public interest and in the interest of the Zimbabwean torture victims.
President Robert Mugabe and several members of his Zanu PF party have already been hit with international sanctions for suspected human rights abuses that include using death squads to intimidate citizens and rigging elections to stay in power.