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Judge takes 'judicial peek' at Zimbabwe report

Publish date: 15 June 2012
Issue Number: 3057
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Category: Litigation

A Mail & Guardian Online report notes that in accordance with a Constitutional Court ruling in November last year, North Gauteng High Court Judge Joseph Raulinga has exercised his right to a 'judicial peek' at a government report compiled by two SA judges on the socio-political and legal circumstances around the 2002 national elections in Zimbabwe.

This, despite attempts by the government to have arguments over a last-minute affidavit by former President Thabo Mbeki - who had commissioned Constitutional Court Judges Sisi Khampepe and Dikgang Moseneke to compile the report - be heard first. The Mail & Guardian had, three years ago, brought an application under the Promotion of Access to Information Act to gain access to the report which the newspaper felt was 'clearly a matter of public interest'. It is understood that the report would point to the political, social and legal context within which the 2002 Zimbabwe elections took place. Advocate Marumo Moerane had argued for the government that Raulinga should first consider argument around Mbeki's affidavit, which states that he considered the two judges to be 'presidential envoys' and thus 'of necessity confidential in nature'. Raulinga, however, considered the state's tactics as an attempt to 'throw a spanner in the works'. 'My understanding (of the Constitutional Court order) is that I get the report, I read the report and then we proceed,' Raulinga told the court. Full Mail & Guardian Online report