Asylum-seekers are told: 'Go home and lie'
Ruling will decide if Britain is right to expect deportees to protect
themselves by dissembling
Emily Dugan Author Biography
Sunday 17 June 2012
Attempts by the British Government to force asylum-seekers to return home
and lie about their political allegiance to avoid persecution will be
challenged in the Supreme Court tomorrow. Thousands of people sheltering in
Britain face deportation to some of the world's most brutal regimes if the
Government wins the landmark legal battle.
The test case, to be heard over two days, focuses on the experience of a
31-year-old Zimbabwean woman known as RT, whose asylum claim was rejected in
2009. The Government argues that she can hide her opposition to the ruling
party Zanu-PF and the country's despotic leader Robert Mugabe.
But the Appeal Court ruled in October 2010 that if RT, and others like her,
are sent back to a country such as Zimbabwe and face interrogation about
their politics, Britain could not require them to lie. The Home Office
appealed, asking the Supreme Court for a final decision.
Jawaid Luqmani, RT's solicitor, said: "It is an issue of principle. If you
are effectively saying, 'it's all right, you just go back and lie', you have
the UK condoning lying as a means of self-preservation, and that smells
He said that the case would have an impact beyond Zimbabwean asylum-seekers,
as the same arguments would apply "to a number of autocratic regimes".
Zuma expected to meet other political parties outside GPA
By Tichaona Sibanda
12 June 2012
President Jacob Zuma will meet representatives of opposition parties outside
the inclusive government, when he visits Zimbabwe at the end of June, the
president of the MDC99 said on Tuesday.
Job Sikhala said following their three hour meeting with the South African
facilitation team in Harare on Monday, it was agreed other parties outside
the GPA had a role to play in the future of Zimbabwe.
‘We met President Zuma’s facilitation team and agreed on a number of subject
issues. We all agreed that there mustn’t be any exclusion of any political
parties in the development of our country.
‘We also told them that parties outside the GPA should have a role to play
in the drawing up of an election roadmap because it’s not only ZANU PF and
the MDC’s that will participate in the next poll,’ Sikhala said.
The outspoken and former student leader told SW Radio Africa that they made
it clear to the facilitation team that any attempts to railroad elections
this year without reforms is a recipe for disaster.
‘In a nutshell, after our presentation, it was also agreed in principle to
include us in future SADC summits that discuss Zimbabwe and that we will
have an opportunity to present our dossier to President Zuma when he visits
Harare at the end of the month,’ he said.
Sikhala continued: ‘I must however emphasize that we are not interested in
issues of governance, but interested in issues of transformation and issues
to do with the future of our great nation.’
The MDC99, ZAPU, ZANU Ndonga and Democratic Party representatives met with
Mac Maharaj and Charles Nqakula from Zuma’s facilitation team, plus the
South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela, and other embassy
The team flew into the country on Monday and quickly went into meetings with
negotiators fom the three parties in the inclusive government.
Mugabe Fears ICC Prosecution
Written by Wendy Muperi, Staff Writer
Monday, 11 June 2012 12:00
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s unrestrained attack on South Africa’s
High Court judge Hans Fabricius for handing down a landmark ruling on
Zimbabwe’s rights abuses reflects his fear of international law, analysts
and legal experts said yesterday.
The unprecedented attack somehow exposes the octogenarian leader’s fear of
arrest under the International Criminal Court (ICC) statutes.
US diplomatic cables leaked by secrets-spilling website, WikiLeaks in which
former Information minister, Jonathan Moyo, told former United States
ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, the 88-year old Mugabe genuinely
fears hanging if he leaves office.
Describing judge Fabricius in derogatory terms as a “Boer”, Mugabe told a
convention of southern African liberation movements in Harare on Friday that
the ruling ordering an investigation in South Africa into alleged violence
and atrocities by loyalists of his party was like a second “apartheid”.
Mugabe urged South Africa’s ruling ANC to “apply every means at their
disposal” to stop the probe to avert the souring relations between the two
erstwhile liberation movements that took up arms to depose white rule.
The Zanu PF leader told representatives of the liberation groups of the ANC,
Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe that the ruling was
actuated by those “still in our midst yearning for the old flags” of
Rhodesia who were keen on replacing revolutionary movements with “malleable
SA High Court ruling on Zim rights abuses irritates Mugabe.
By Tichaona Sibanda
11 June 2012
A recent North Gauteng High Court ruling urging South African authorities to
probe human rights abuses in Zimbabwe has irritated Robert Mugabe, who
described the decision as ‘a direct assault on the country’s sovereignty.’
The Gauteng ruling also called on the authorities to bring perpetrators of
human rights abuses before the International Criminal Court for prosecution.
But the president of the former ruling ZANU PF party said the ruling
constituted interference from’ residual Rhodesian and apartheid forces in
The ruling last month by Judge Hans Fabricius gave orders to the South
African government to investigate state-sponsored violence and crimes
against humanity committed by government officials in Zimbabwe in 2007.
Mugabe urged the African National Congress to deal decisively with the
matter in remarks made in Harare during the official opening a summit of
former SADC liberation movements. ‘Naturally, as we develop and enact
policies to deliver on these promises to our people such as our land reform
programmes and the ongoing indigenisation and empowerment programmes here in
Zimbabwe, we are targets for regime change.
‘In this context, it is important to remember that this Harare meeting takes
place after the recent ruling by one Boer Judge Hans Fabricius in the North
Gauteng High Court in South Africa calling on authorities in that country to
probe alleged atrocities in Zimbabwe, arrest and prosecute alleged offenders
under the International Criminal Court of which South Africa is a party and
Zimbabwe is not,’ Mugabe is quoted as saying.
Concern raised over ongoing abuses in SA deportations
Image from the front cover of a new Solidarity Peace Trust report, Perils and Pitfalls‐ Migrants and Deportation in SA
By Alex Bell
06 June 2012
Concern has been raised this week over ongoing abuses documented during the deportation of foreigners in South Africa, with rights groups warning that the practice is doing more harm than good.
The Solidarity Peace Trust and the refugee rights group PASSOP on Tuesday released a new report, titled: “Perils and Pitfalls – Migrants and Deportation in South Africa.” The report details the discrepancies between the legal requirements around deportation of migrants and the anomalies in its practical application. An accompanying video has also been released, with testimonies from many Zimbabweans and other foreigners in South Africa about the treatment they face there.
The two groups said that it is clear from the findings of the report that South Africa is falling short of its “lofty legal standards in the manner that the various government agencies are dealing with this huge challenge.” The groups warned that “the overall picture of abuse, corruption, lack of capacity, and the neglect of the rule of law in this area is a cause of great concern.”
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