PRETORIA, South Africa - A South African judge says his country should investigate charges that officials in neighbouring Zimbabwe are responsible for grave human rights abuses.
The ruling handed down in a Pretoria court Tuesday was the first under South African statutes spelling out its international law obligations. Human rights lawyer Nicole Fritz, who joined Zimbabwean exiles in bringing the suit, says human rights groups have documented cases of torture and other crimes in Zimbabwe. Under Tuesday's order, she says, investigators from a country with a strong legal framework will be able to hold Zimbabwean officials responsible.
South African prosecutors had said such investigations were beyond their mandate. Prosecution spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said he could not immediately comment Tuesday.