Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

South African courts come to the aid of white Zimbabwean farmers

South African courts come to the aid of white Zimbabwean farmers

March 4, 2010

Jan Raath Harare

Zimbabwe’s dispossessed white farmers will at last be able to put the heat on President Mugabe. Four former farmers have been given the right to seize Zimbabwean government property in South Africa in pursuit of their
compensation claim.

In December 2008, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) tribunal, the international court to which citizens in the region can appeal when their national courts fail them, declared that Mugabe’s land reform was “an act of theft” and racist.

It ordered the Government to allow those left to continue farming unhindered and to compensate the rest. Didymus Mutasa, then the Lands Minister, neatly expressed the Government’s attitude: “They are dreaming.”

Mike Campbell and Ben Freeth, the farmers who led the SADC litigation, had their farms burnt down. There are 300 white farmers still active on their land. Only 40 of the 4,500 who were ejected from their farms have been
desperate enough to accept partial compensation – in junk Zimbabwean dollars.

The farmers applied to the Harare High Court to have the SADC decision registered and make it enforceable in Zimbabwe. It was dismissed, because of the “enormity” of reversing the land seizures, the judge said.

However, last week the North Gauteng High Court ruled that, as South Africa was a signatory to the SADC tribunal treaty, its decisions were enforceable there. The Zimbabwean ruling was registered.

It potentially opens non-diplomatic property owned by the Zimbabwean Government in South Africa to attachment. As a first step, the farmers are seeking payment of the £12,000 costs order made in their favour in the Gauteng case. Willie Spies, their lawyer, says that he has identified two properties in Cape Town for attachment. “We regard this as a trial run for the much bigger case involving compensation” for the four farmers, he said.

Zimbabwean politicians say they do not believe that President Zuma would allow such actions. However, Spies says: “I cannot see why political interference should be a possibility. The South African Government last year
affirmed that it would honour the SADC tribunal ruling. It was made an order of court.” Further, the Gauteng North High Court decision was uncontested, so there is little possibility of appeal.

“If the South African Government now turns around and repudiates its own standpoint,” Spies says, “I would be very surprised. I do not expect that.” 


Zim resumes passport processing

Zim Resumes Passport Processing 10/01/2011 10:55:00Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font Harare, January 10, 2011 – The issuing of new passports by the Registrar

Read More »

Zim stops issuing passports

Zim stops issuing passports By Alex Bell04 January 2011 Zimbabwe has indefinitely stopped issuing birth certificates, identity cards and passports after a fire at

Read More »

New travel document unveiled

New travel document unveiled Tuesday, April 13, 2010 Herald Reporter THE Registrar-General’s Office will from tomorrow start issuing six-month multiple-entry Temporary Travel Documents to

Read More »

New Posts: