Bennett to know his fate today

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pretoria - Zimbabwe's Deputy Agriculture Minister-designate, Roy Bennett, will know today if he will be thrown back in prison pending a High Court trial or if charges against him will be temporarily withdrawn.

According to Zimbabwean media, Bennett and his lawyers yesterday packed the Mutare Court as they waited for more than six hour for prosecutors.

State representatives blamed their tardiness on failure to secure fuel for the cars and roadblocks on the road between the capital Harare and Mutare, where the trial is taking place.

Bennett faces charges of obtaining weapons with the purpose of committing acts of banditry, terrorism and insurgency which his MDC party has dismissed as trumped up.

Yesterday, South Africa said it would not at this stage make a judgement on the validity of allegations against Bennett.

"The court of law is in a better position to make that judgment ... lets just hope that the legal process will be seen by everybody as being transparent and that the outcome will be fair," said Director General in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Ayanda Ntsaluba.

He said South Africa was watching developments in Zimbabwe and the commitment made by parties to its inclusive government.

"We know that there are differences regarding the attorney general and governor of the reserve bank... we hope this will be resolved," Ntsaluba said.