News release from Southern Africa litigation centre

Salc : Staff Writer

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) has requested the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to take action on its evidence of torture by Zimbabwean officials of actual and perceived supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in March 2007.

Lloyd Kuveya, a lawyer at SALC stated:  “It has been more than eight months since we submitted the evidence of torture to the NPA.  Since then the situation in Zimbabwe has reached an all time low.  It is time for South Africa to send a clear message that it will not be a safe-haven for torturers who come across the border.”

In March 2008, SALC submitted a dossier documenting evidence of torture by Zimbabwean police and other officials following a raid on Harvest House, the headquarters of the MDC.  Officials detained over 100 people, including those who happened only to work in nearby shops or officers.

A number of individuals were detained in police custody for several days where they were repeatedly subjected to torture including mock execution, such as waterboarding and the use of electric shock.

The dossier included a legal opinion authored by Wim Trengove, Gilbert Marcus and Max du Plessis detailing the relevant South African law on accountability for crimes against humanity.