South African President Jacob Zuma has appealed against the release of the 2002 Zimbabwe presidential elections report meaning that the Mail and Guardian will have to wait a little longer.
The weekly paper has been fighting a six-year battle to get access to the report compiled by Judges Dikgang Moseneke and Sisi Khampepe who were assigned by former South African President Thabo Mbeki.
Though the Mail and Guardian has won the case several times including in the Supreme Court of Appeal last month, the Presidency said yesterday it was going to appeal to the Constitutional Court.
President Robert Mugabe won the elections in 2002 but Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and western observers claimed the elections were rigged.
According to the Mail and Guardian the State argues that insufficient weight was given to affidavits supplied by both former President Thabo Mbeki and President Jacob Zuma.
It is also asking the Constitutional Court to clarify the scope and ambit of powers given in terms of section 80 of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, within the context of the powers given to President in terms of the Constitution and “limitations or exemptions that may legitimately be applied to the right of access to information held by the state”.
The Mail and Guardian has been given until 20 October to file its answering papers.
It is not clear why the Mail and Guardian is interested in the 12-year old-report but equally baffling is the surging interest in a 50-minute documentary entitled: The shocking conspiracy to assassinate Robert Mugabe which is available on YouTube.
The documentary was made prior to the 2002 elections and features a plot by Tsvangirai to “eliminate” Mugabe. Tsvangirai was charged with treason immediately after the elections but was later acquitted.