'RELEASE ZIM REPORT'

The DA yesterday invoked the Promotion of Access to Information Act to force President Jacob Zuma to release a report drafted by retired army generals on Zimbabwe during Thabo Mbeki's era.

The DA yesterday invoked the Promotion of Access to Information Act to force President Jacob Zuma to release a report drafted by retired army generals on Zimbabwe during Thabo Mbeki's era.

"This report would go a long way in shedding light on the many human rights violations that characterised Zimbabwe's elections last year," DA parliamentary leader Athol Trollip said.

"News reports continue to emerge from Zimbabwe of political intimidation and human rights abuses, and the report would help us understand the dynamics of the situation," he said.

Six retired generals were tasked by then president Mbeki in May last year to assess the extent of the army's involvement in the political crisis in Zimbabwe.

But Mbeki, who was also SADC's mediator in the crisis, never released their findings. Neither did his successor, Kgalema Motlanthe.

Trollip said this contributed to a perception that Pretoria was covering up wrongdoing by Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.

"The secrecy in dealing with the situation in Harare has created a perception that South Africa is protecting human rights violations by Mugabe's regime," he said.

Disputes between Mugabe's Zanu-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC are putting a strain on the unity government.

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said South Africa should pressure Mugabe to go.

But the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has rejected suggestions that Pretoria should persuade Mugabe to step down.

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