M&G won't back down over Zim report

2010-12-23 13:00

Cape Town - The Mail & Guardian said on Thursday it would oppose President Jacob Zuma's application for leave to appeal last week's Supreme Court of Appeal ruling ordering him to hand over a report on the 2002 Zimbabwean election to the newspaper.

"Our attorney spoke to his state attorney on Tuesday and he confirmed that they will seek leave to appeal. We will oppose their application," Mail & Guardian editor Nick Dawes said.

Dawes said Zuma had until January 6 to serve documents asking for leave to appeal, and the weekly had to respond by January 20.

He expressed disappointment at the latest development in the newspaper's long court battle to get Zuma to release the Kampepe-Moseneke report, believed to confirm widespread abuse during the poll that returned President Robert Mugabe to power.

"We are disappointed. Two courts have given very clear rulings and both have found that the president failed dismally to prove a need to keep the report secret."

The appeal court last Tuesday dismissed the presidency's challenge to a North Gauteng High Court order that Zuma hand the newspaper the report commissioned by then president Thabo Mbeki before the 2002 elections in a strife-torn Zimbabwe.

Both Mbeki and Zuma have resisted repeated calls for the report, compiled by two Constitutional Court judges -- Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke and Constitutional Court Justice Sisi Khampepe, to be made public.

Dawes: Time to comply

SCA Judge Robert Nugent said the court had to be satisfied that secrecy was justified and the presidency had failed to establish cause for refusing access to the document.

Dawes said it was time for Zuma to comply with the court judgments.

"I really think that what the president ought to do is save some public money, show some commitment to transparency and the PAIA (Promotion of Access to Information Act) process and hand it over."

The presidency was not available for comment.

The legal wrangle is set against a background of unhappiness with the Protection of Information Bill, which introduces lengthy prison sentences for publishing classified documents, and the ruling party's plans to establish a state tribunal to regulate the press.

  • Ernest - 2010-12-23 13:29

    Good for you M&G. This government is becoming a second China and Cuba.

      Ldn Saffa - 2010-12-23 17:03

      Hey from what I gather, being Cuba might not be a bad thing after all there are some dumb nations out there just throwing loads of money at them.

      World Traveler - 2011-05-17 13:24

      I buy the M&G

      World Traveler - 2011-05-17 13:25

      Ooops a typo! I buy the M&G

  • william.botha - 2010-12-23 13:39

    We don't even need the report. There is an overwhelming evidence from Zimbabwean citizens themselves. Mugabe should be escorted to The Hague.

  • Joe - 2010-12-23 13:54

    Why doesn't Zuma want to hand it over? Because he wants to protect the 'African Way', whereby dictators much like himself, for that matter, can get away with whatever they want. So Trash Mugarbage rigged, intimidated and murdered his way back into power and Zuma knows it, now he's trying to hide it. I say when the report comes out, they should expose Zuma as an accomplice to the atrocities that happened/is happening in Zimbabwe. Funny how the UN always sticks it's nose in all over the world but when it comes to Dumb and Dumber African leaders ruining countries and slaying citizens, they have nothing to say. And the UN wonders why it has zero credibility. But I guess I can learn something from them: their attitude: SCREW AFRICA!

      Ldn Saffa - 2010-12-23 16:45

      The'UN'should change its name to the 'UONN' the 'UNITED OIL & NUKE NATIONS'. They have a policy of no oil or no nukes then no interest.

      stukyster - 2011-05-17 13:40

      @Ldn_saffa: Couldn't have said it better.

  • KaiinSA - 2010-12-23 15:08

    I wonder if the delaying tact is so Zuma can try and find someone in the ANC who can read and write then have the report re-written to say that Mugabe was serving tea and sandwiches while out canvasing for votes instead of what we know really happened.

      Heks - 2010-12-23 18:22

      These African politicians are all the same. Delay proceedings while they try to find someone that can get them out of the dwang

  • Julius - 2010-12-23 18:17

    The question is WHY? but we all know that "freedom fighters" are really crooks

  • sefeddt - 2011-05-17 13:05

    So much for claiming to be open and transparent.

  • World Traveler - 2011-05-17 13:22

    Stop the anc national socialist TOTALITARIAN government!

  • objective1 - 2011-05-17 13:48

    I am a freedom fighter.. I fight to free the land of my ancestors from the grip of the ruling ANC as it destroys the country. If you are South African and call you self a freedom fighter then you oppose the ANC.

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