South Africa returns old Rhodesian Cabinet files to Zimbabwe

Last Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith
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HARARE,– South Africa has returned Cabinet files and other State papers dating back to 1927 that former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Douglas Smith took to that country following the collapse of his government.

The documents will be officially handed over to President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House on Wednesday, director of media services in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Anywhere Mutambudzi told Xinhua on Tuesday.

The files are important because they form part of the country’s history and are needed by researchers and scholars.

The majority of the papers cover the period from 1964 to 1978, but older papers go back as far as 1927.

“The Cabinet files were taken to South Africa by Smith when the Rhodesian Front had collapsed and were deposited as his personal documents at Rhodes University,” Mutambudzi said.

“These were State documents and reveal sensitive issues on the decision-making processes by the Rhodesian system,” Mutambudzi said.

He added that the documents were repatriated following negotiations between the governments of Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, was under colonial rule from 1890 to 1980 with Smith declaring unilateral independence from Britain in 1965.