Movement for Democratic Change treasurer Roy Bennett’s application for asylum in South Africa was rejected by the Department of Home Affairs but his lawyer Arnold Tsunga said he was appealing.
Tsunga said although the application was likely to be adjudicated by another organ with the Department of Home Affairs, it was also likely to be rejected.
He said politics did not permit the Department of Home Affairs to slap the government of Zimbabwe by ruling in Bennett’s favour.
Tsunga said if the appeal was turned down he would resort to the courts.
Viewing cable 06HARARE666, BENNETT’S LAWYER ON ASYLUM CASE
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AFR/SA FOR E. LOKEN
COMMERCE FOR BECKY ERKUL
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2011
SUBJECT: BENNETT’S LAWYER ON ASYLUM CASE
Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Eric T. Schultz under Section 1
¶1. (C) Arnold Tsunga, the attorney for MDC Treasurer Roy
Bennett, on May 31 told the CDA that Bennett had appealed the
South African Department of Home Affairs’ recent rejection of
Bennett’s asylum application. (Embassy has forwarded the
original application and judgment to AF/S.) However, Tsunga
noted that the appeal was likely to be adjudicated by
another organ within the Home Affairs Department and was
therefore likely to also be rejected. He asserted that
politics would not permit the Home Affairs Department, which
had close ties with its Zimbabwean counterpart, to slap the
GOZ by ruling in Bennett’s favor.
¶2. (C) Tsunga said that after the appeal to the Home Affair
Department had run its course, he would appeal the rejected
claim in South African courts. He maintained that the SAG
could not afford the substantial risk that the court would
rule in Bennett’s favor, an outcome Tsunga considered likely.
Accordingly, he expected the SAG to quietly agree to some
arrangement permitting Bennett to remain in South Africa
before the court ruled.
¶3. (C) Comment: Enormously popular with Zimbabweans at home
and abroad, Bennett will continue to be a thorn in the GOZ’s
side, especially if he is able to establish himself in South
Africa and help organize the Zimbabwean diaspora there as a
source of political and financial support.