Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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SA judges urged to uphold rule of law in Zim land case

SA judges urged to uphold rule of law in Zim land case

By Alex Bell
27 August 2012

South African judges are being urged to set a regional precedent by 
upholding the rulings of the regional human rights court, as they deliberate 
on an appeal by the Zim government over the unlawful land grab campaign.

The South African Supreme Court of Appeal on Monday heard an appeal by the 
Zim government against a ruling by the North Gauteng High Court in 2010, 
which recognised and upheld the jurisdiction of the regional human rights 
The case stemmed from the Tribunal’s 2008 ruling that the land grab in 
Zimbabwe was unlawful, which the Zim government has ignored.

This forced Zimbabwean commercial farmers and South African citizens Louis 
Fick, Mike Campbell and Richard Etheredge to seek legal recourse in South 
Africa, because Zimbabwe had refused to compensate them for the loss of 
their land. The South African High Court in 2010 ruled in favour of the 
farmers, enforcing the Tribunal ruling and recognising the court’s 
jurisdiction. The Court also ruled that a Cape Town property owned by the 
Zim government should be ‘attached’ for auction, to cover the government’s 
debt to the farmers.

But this decision was then appealed by the legal team representing the Zim 
government and that appeal was heard on Monday.

Ben Freeth, who is the late Campbell’s son-in-law, was in court on Monday 
and he told SW Radio Africa that he is “confident that justice will be 

“The judges will make a decision soon and I am very confident of what their 
decision will be. They are setting a very important precedent here,” Freeth 

The Tribunal was suspended almost two years ago over the land ruling and 
SADC leaders are now set to reform the court, but with limited human rights 

Freeth explained that the suspension “doesn’t effect the full and binding 
judgement we got in 2008.”

“I still believe that one day we will see justice. The judges today (Monday) 
will be setting a very important precedent by upholding the Tribunal 
ruling,” Freeth said. 


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