Johannesburg, 26 November – The South African Supreme Court of Appeal will deliver its judgment tomorrow (Wednesday 27th) in the appeal to the landmark case brought by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) and the Zimbabwean Exiles Forum (ZEF) on whether South Africa is required to investigate and prosecute high level Zimbabwean officials accused of crimes against humanity.

“This case is the first of its kind to be brought before the South African courts and will set an important precedent,” said Priti Patel, Deputy Director of SALC. “The judgment will provide content to the obligations South Africa assumed under international and domestic law to ensure that the world’s worst criminals are held accountable for their actions.” 

What – The Supreme Court of Appeal will deliver judgment in South African Police Service and another v Southern Africa Litigation Centre and another 

Where – Supreme Court of Appeal, Bloemfontein
When – 09:30, Wednesday 27 November 2013 

In May 2012, the North Gauteng High Court set aside the decision of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) not to initiate an investigation into crimes against humanity committed in Zimbabwe, following a police raid on the Movement for Democratic Change’s Harvest House headquarters in 2007. The NPA and SAPS petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal after the High Court refused leave to appeal, and the appeal hearing was heard on 1 November 2013. The judgment is likely to address whether South African domestic law confers jurisdiction on South African authorities to investigate international crimes when the suspect is not present in the country. 

SALC was represented by Lawyers for Human Rights and by Advocate Wim Trengove SC, Advocate Gilbert Marcus SC, and Advocate Max du Plessis

For background and overview of the case, click here.

For more information and interviews contact:
Priti Patel, SALC Deputy Director: +27 11 587 5065, Cell +27 76 808 0505; PritiP@salc.org.za
Caroline James SALC Project Lawyer: + 27 11 587 5065, Cell +27 72 200 1813; CarolineJ@salc.org.za