At the official opening of a summit of SADC liberation movements in Harare, on Friday, President Robert Mugabe racially attacked Gauteng North High Court Judge Hans Fabricus, calling him a "boer Judge". Mugabe was reacting to a recent judgment by Fabricus ordering South African authorities to investigate Zimbabwean officials accused of involvement in torture and other crimes against humanity.
According to the Zanu-PF supporting Herald newspaper (see here) Mugabe challenged the summit -attended by representatives from Zanu-PF, the ANC, Angola's MPLA, Mozambique's Frelimo, Tanzania's Chama Chamapinduzi and Namibia's SWAPO - to denounce the ruling in a resolution. The newspaper reported Mugabe's remarks as follows:
"In this context, it is important to remember that this Harare meeting takes place after the recent ruling by one Boer Judge Hans Fabricius in the North Gauteng High Court in South Africa calling on authorities in that country to probe alleged atrocities in Zimbabwe, arrest and prosecute alleged offenders under the International Criminal Court of which South Africa is a party and Zimbabwe is not.
Needless to say, we take umbrage at these residual Rhodesian and Apartheid forces that are finding space in our midst, to use our courts in a manner that seeks to mollify their defeat at the hands of our liberation struggles and reverse the gains that we have attained for our collective peoples. That judgment, like those outrageous ones of the Sadc Tribunal which has now been dissolved, constitutes a direct assault on our sovereignty by shameless forces afflicted by racist nostalgia.
... I wish to urge our colleagues in the ANC of South Africa to see this for what it is and apply every means at their disposal to ensure that such machinations are not in the end, allowed to negatively affect our cordial relations."
According to News Day ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, who was attending the summit, dismissed this call. "The ANC does not ignore the rule of law, so we respect the ruling made in the High Court," the newspaper quoted him as saying.
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