Hawks to probe torture in Zim

2012-05-09 00:00

THE high court in Pretoria has directed the Hawks to urgently begin an investigation into alleged torture in Zimbabwe. The ruling, in a case brought by the Southern African Human Rights Litigation Centre (SALC), is the first of its kind in South Africa.

The SALC applied to the court for an order compelling the Priority Crime Litigation Unit in the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions and the SA Police Service to investigate a dossier alleging crimes against human rights in Zimbabwe.

The SALC applied in March 2008 for such a probe against several Zimbabwean government officials for the alleged torture of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) members arrested in a swoop on the party’s Harare headquarters in 2007.

Judge Hans Fabricius ruled yesterday that the respondents were bound to investigate the dossier compiled by SALC, which contained enough information to proceed on. It was not their responsibility to make political judgements at that stage, he said.

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