Constitution Watch 3-2017

CONSTITUTION WATCH 3/2017

[31st January 2017]

Death Penalty Challenge in the Constitutional Court

on Wednesday 1st February, 2017

This Wednesday, tomorrow the 1st February, the Constitutional Court is due to hear an important case, Farai Lawrence Ndlovu & Another v Minister of Justice & Another (CCZ 50/2015), in which two prisoners, who were sentenced to death shortly before the new Constitution came into force, are seeking an order that their sentences are unconstitutional.  The case has been initiated by Veritas.

The case was originally set down for hearing in September last year but it could not be heard then and was postponed.

What the case is about

The court papers for the case are available on the Veritas website.

The applicants were sentenced to death shortly before the new Constitution came into force in 2013.  The argument in this case is that the new Constitution effectively abolished the pre-existing law that provided for the carrying out of the death penalty.  Therefore, although they may have been sentenced lawfully it was argued that their sentences cannot be carried out.

After the applicants noted their application to the Constitutional Court the law was amended to reinstate the death penalty, but the amendment cannot apply retrospectively so as to validate the carrying out of the applicants’ sentences.  So the case still stands.

Everyone who is concerned about the death penalty is urged to attend the court hearing

The court hearing will start at 9.30 am

on Wednesday 1st February, 2017

at the Constitutional Court – Cnr. Samora Machel Ave and Third Street, Harare.

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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