State agents fingered in the torture of political opponents have enjoyed a free rein at home and in neighbouring countries, but that might soon change.
The banner says it all – protestors outside the court.
The North Gauteng High Court sat this week to decide on whether South Africa can investigate and try torture cases committed by visitors.
A landmark case brought by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum seeks to compel South Africa to abide by its legal obligations to investigate and prosecute Zimbabwean officials accused of crimes against humanity.
“The High Court has an opportunity to set an important precedent, which will ensure that South Africa lives up to its legal responsibilities to prosecute the perpetrators of international crimes,” says Nicole Fritz, Director of SALC.
In terms of international laws South Africa is required to arrest and try known perpetrators of crimes against humanity, who visit to seek medical treatment or on business.
The case took an alarming twist on Monday when a top official in the national prosecuting authority singled out his director as the stumbling block.