Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

M&G wins right to view Khampepe Report on Zim elections

The contents of the disputed Khampepe Report in the 2002 Zimbabwe elections are finally to be made public after the Constitutional Court turned down an application by government to appeal a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling that the report be handed over.

This is likely to be the final chapter of a five year battle – and at least five court cases by lawyers for the Mail & Guardian – to gain access to a report by Constitutional Court justices Sisi Khampepe and Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

It has been claimed that there was vote-rigging in those elections, but the report has never been made public.

The Constitutional Court on Friday dismissed a request by government to appeal the appeal court ruling, saying that “the application should be dismissed as it bears no prospects of success”. 

The appeal court had on September 19 dismissed, with costs, the attempt by the presidency to appeal a high court order by Pretoria high court judge Joseph Raulinga that it should hand over the Khampepe report to the M&G, which would mean it would in reality become a public document.

The process has not been without its drama. The report went missing briefly earlier this year from Raulinga’s office. The state argued that it could not be compelled to hand over the report if it was no longer in existence.

The report was eventually found, and it was decided a copy should be stored at the office of the president of the appeal court Lex Mpati.

A resounding victory
M&G’s lawyer Dario Milo of Webber Wentzel said on Friday that they were in the process of applying to the registrar of the appeal court for permission to go and collect the document being stored in Bloemfontein.

“We are ecstatic that a five year battle has finally come to a close,” he said. “The judgment is a resounding victory for guaranteeing the rights of access to information.”

He said it sends a message to “public bodies to not reject requests for access to information without a good basis”.

Observers, such as those from Norway, claimed that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF had used violence to sway the vote, while others raised concerns about changes in citizenship rules and voter registration, saying this amounted to vote-rigging.

The presidency, under Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma, have continued to refuse to allow the contents of the documents to be disclosed.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

The South African Bone Marrow Registry celebrates 30 years of...

‘It’s not drilling into bones!’: Misconceptions keep donors away, says SABMR, but a match outside of a patient’s family is a needle in a haystack

R500-million Covid-19 Gauteng hospital contract was irregularly awarded — SIU

The bank accounts of Pro Service Consulting and Thenga Holdings have been frozen

More top stories

With its industrial base decimated, SA’s economy needs real change...

Speaking at a book launch on Tuesday, the finance minister said a focus on manufacturing is critical to stem the country’s deepening unemployment crisis

Defence team cagey about Zuma’s health after state advised he...

The former president was absent from court, but his counsel argued that health matters be left aside, so as to hear his case for the removal of Billy Downer

The South African Bone Marrow Registry celebrates 30 years of...

‘It’s not drilling into bones!’: Misconceptions keep donors away, says SABMR, but a match outside of a patient’s family is a needle in a haystack

New clean fuel standards could be the end of refineries...

In the absence of mechanisms to recoup investment into cleaner fuels, refineries may be faced with tough decisions

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…