SA gives rape victims hope

Gauteng High Court in South Africa has agreed to hear the appeal of an international NGO that has called for the prosecution of criminals who crossed into the country following the 2008 violence in Zimbabwe.

Aids-Free World is advocating that known rapists be brought to book.

“The High Court of Gauteng has agreed to hear the appeal at the end of this month, so we will file our rape dossier before the National Prosecution Authority by May,” Aids-Free World co-director, Stephen Lewis, told The Zimbabwean.

“But while that may get some of the known perpetrators into jail should they cross into South Africa, the women who have been raped, will never receive justice, and those who most certainly will be raped in advance of the next election, will not be safe until the international community intervenes.”

South Africa subscribes to the legal principle of universal jurisdiction; it can bring those accused of crimes against humanity to justice through courts outside their own countries.

Known and perceived supporters of the Zimbabwean opposition were raped in 2008 as supporters of Robert Mugabe resorted to underhand tactics to keep him in power.

Aids-Free World warned of a repeat of such human rights violations in the next election.

“The international community must intervene because this strategy of rape is historic and ongoing. Women will be subject to terrifying sexual assault again during the next elections, expected to be held later this year,” Lewis said.

Post published in: Africa News

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