Zim supreme court mulls Bennett appeal

Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court is considering whether to accept an appeal in the case of Roy Bennett, who was cleared in an alleged plot to overthrow President Robert Mugabe, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

Bennett, a top aide to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, was acquitted in May after a high court judge ruled the state had failed to connect him to a plot against Mugabe.

His trial is one of the major stumbling blocks facing the unity government between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, who had tapped him as deputy agriculture minister. Mugabe has refused to swear him in until the case is resolved.

The move to appeal will extend the uncertainty over Bennett, prolonging the political tensions within the government.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku “has indicated that because the record is very bulky it will take him long to come to a decision”, Bennett’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa told reporters after a three-hour, closed-door hearing.

“The matter has been postponed indefinitely,” she added.

Mtetwa said her client feels that he is being persecuted by political opponents.

“He feels that this is part of political prosecution. He is complaining about it,” she said.

The 53-year-old former farmer was Tsvangirai’s pick for deputy agriculture minister in the unity government with long-time rival Mugabe.

Prosecutor Chris Mutangadura told reporters that due the “voluminous submissions, the matter has been postponed indefinitely as the chief justice wants to read the submissions from both parties”.

Bennett was arrested in February 2009, shortly before he was to be sworn in, over accusations that he had funded a plot to topple Mugabe four years ago. — AFP

An actual Black Friday deal

Subscribe for R2/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

‘Explosive’ jobs crisis imperils South Africa

Experts’ strategies for fixing the unemployment crisis range from devaluing the rand to a universal income grant or accepting debt from loans

South Africa’s newest national park will be in an agricultural...

People living on communal land and commercial farmers can incorporate their land into the new park and benefit from financial incentives

Shell’s Wild Coast exploration draws mounting public ire

Shell SA chair surprised by the scale of opposition to its planned 3D seismic survey

PODCAST: How South Africa fits into the global economy

Michael Power chats to the M&G editor-in-chief and business journalists about South Africa and its place in the global economy.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…