State has no evidence, as activists rot in jail.
The case against 29 MDC-T members accused of murdering a police officer in
Glen View in May last year is set to crumble as the State’s evidence is
weak, lawyers representing the activists have said.
by Tapiwa Zivira
The activists, most of whom are still being held in custody a year later,
are expected to appear before the High Court on June 4.
Allegations are that the 29 allegedly took part in the murder of Asst Insp
Petros Mutedza during a confrontation between MDC-T members, who were
holding a meeting in the populous Glen View suburb, and the police, who had
come to disperse the meeting, claiming it was illegally convened.
The activists, it is alleged, attacked the police with stones, resulting in
Mutedza’s death. Immediately after the murder, police launched a massive
crackdown in most southwestern suburbs.
Solomon Madzore, the MDC-T National Youth Chairman, is among the accused –
but was only arrested in September 2011. His repeated attempts to be
remanded out of custody have failed.
“About 25 of them are saying they were not even at the meeting or the scene
of the murder and four are saying they were present but fled when the police
arrived to dismiss the meeting. They have strong alibis,” their lawyer,
Charles Kwaramba, told The Zimbabwean.
He said the autopsy shows that Mutedza could not have been murdered by more
than three people.
“The post mortem shows one blow and a few bruises in the head and this
cannot be said to be a result of the actions of many people,” he said.
Drafting of new constitution back on track
By Tichaona Sibanda
23 May 2012
The drafting of a new constitution was said to be ‘back on track’ after
COPAC reached ‘common ground’ on contentious issues during a meeting in
Harare on Wednesday.
All parties to the GPA attended the meeting, the first in two weeks after a
period blighted by a ZANU PF boycott of the process. Senior figures from
ZANU PF, including COPAC co-chairperson Paul Mangwana, were present when
COPAC took a step torwards finalising the drafting of a new charter.
The breakthrough comes as the SADC regional bloc was putting pressure on all
parties in the GPA to work together to end the current impasse, amid reports
that Zimbabweans are fed up of waiting for a new constitution while the
process dragged on indefinitely.
SW Radio Africa is reliably informed the SADC chairman, Namibian president
Hifikepunye Pohamba has been pushing for all sides to put aside partisan
differences so they can resume work to serve the people, and restore
confidence in the process.
Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T co-chairman in COPAC told us ‘ZANU PF is back in
the fold, cooperating and beginning to sound reasonable. He explained that
the party had tried to derail the process by introducing some completely new
and unacceptable issues in their “position paper”.
‘We completely rejected that 29-page document and said that we should work
on the draft the way we’ve always done. We are happy to say that we reached
common ground today and that we will try to finalize this process by the end
of next week,’ Mwonzora said on Wednesday.
SA court ruling blow to Mugabe
MARK SCOFIELD | 13 May, 2012 00:13
Zanu-PF was dealt a blow this week when a high court ruled South Africa was
obliged to investigate the instigators of human rights violations in
The North Gauteng High Court ruling - which deals with the torture of 15
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists netted in a police raid at
the MDC headquarters in Harvest House, Harare, in 2007 - has cast the
spotlight on wider human rights violations that have taken place in
Allan Wallis, a lawyer at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC),
which brought the case before the court, said: "This case relates to the
raid at the MDC's Harvest House and we put up the case by having doctors
check the victims and corroborate their claims of torture.
"It highlights the systematic use of violence by the state, and is
indicative of widespread human rights violations that have taken place with
impunity in Zimbabwe".
In the past decade, Zanu-PF and military officers have been fingered by
human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watchfor the bulk
of human rights violations.
The ruling by Judge Hans Fabricius paves the way for officials linked to the
abuses to be arrested and tried upon entry into South Africa.
"The NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] and SAPS [SA Police Service] had
acted unconstitutionally and unlawfully in not taking forward the original
investigation," Fabricius said. However, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa came out guns blazing . He shot down the
ruling, describ ing it as "irrelevant".
Zim group threatens SA crimes unit with international legal action
By Alex Bell
14 May 2012
A Zimbabwean human rights group has threatened South Africa’s chief crime
fighting unit with international legal action, over on ongoing probe into
the illegal renditions of Zimbabwean citizens from South Africa.
Several senior officials in the Hawks criminal unit and the South African
police were last year accused of conducting the renditions, in partnership
with Zimbabwean police. This has reportedly led to a number of Zimbabwean
‘suspects’ being arrested in South Africa and then sent across the border
illegally, and killed.
These allegations were made by South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper, which
reported that South Africa’s Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, is sitting on
explosive reports listing at least three deaths of Zimbabwean nationals. The
deaths were allegedly as a result of a ‘renditions’ operation led by police
and Hawks officers.
A Hawks source has recently been quoted by South African media as saying
that the practice is still ongoing with at least eight of the unit’s members
“They are above the law. Completely untouchable. For their work several have
been promoted to senior ranks. They have links right to the top, including
politicians and senior officers,” the source was quoted as telling the Times
“Several, who are from the Hawks Tactical Operational Management Services,
are known to be linked to the murders of at least six Zimbabweans abducted
from across Gauteng, and others have been linked to the murders of South
Africans, including fellow police officers,” the source said.
Mthethwa has now said a preliminary investigation into the allegations is
almost completed. But according to the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) this is
the first time any form of a probe has been mentioned. ZEF Director Gabriel
Shumba said he fears the allegations will be covered up.
South Africa sued over Zimbabwe permit renewals
by Staff Reporter
A UNION for migrant workers is taking the South African government to court
to force ministers to reveal what they intend to do with 300,000 Zimbabweans
granted work permits when they expire in 2015.
The Migrant Workers Association of South Africa (MWASA) says officials from
the Department of Home Affairs have privately stated that the permits will
not be renewed, but there has been no public statement by the government.
MWASA has engaged law firm MGM Law Assist to force the government into a
In September 2010, South Africa began a process of issuing Zimbabweans with
relevant South African permits for business, study and work under a special
dispensation known as the Zimbabwe Documentation Programme.
But Austin Moyo, the secretary general of MWASA says Zimbabweans who
benefitted from the programme are anxious to know what will happen when the
Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni said Friday that only those
meeting legal requirements for work, study and business permits renewal will
be granted extensions.
MGM Law Assist Director Godfrey Machimane says the Home Affairs’ position is
the reason why the permit holders are launching a court action.
“If the permit holders are now required to meet legal requirements for
renewing permits that were given under special circumstances, it simply
means the majority will not qualify,” he said.
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