SAPS can probe crimes outside SA

By Drum Digital
28 November 2013

The SA Police Service (SAPS) is empowered to investigate alleged human rights violations in Zimbabwe, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled.

The SA Police Service (SAPS) is empowered to investigate alleged human rights violations in Zimbabwe, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled on Wednesday.

The SCA dismissed an appeal by the national police commissioner and national director of public prosecutions in the matter.

The SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) appealed against a judgment of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria which set aside a decision by the SAPS not to investigate complaints by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre.

That court held South Africa was obliged under international law to probe atrocities allegedly committed by officials in Zimbabwe. It found the NPA could prosecute the Zimbabweans concerned if they ever set foot in South Africa.

The Zimbabwean officials are accused of masterminding crimes against humanity by instituting a state-sanctioned reign of terror in their own country.

- SAPA

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