AfriForum to sue Zim over farms

2010-01-13 17:08

Pretoria - Civil rights group AfriForum on Wednesday won a court bid to sue Zimbabwe over its "cruel" and "revengeful" possession of South African owned farms.

Speaking outside the High Court in Pretoria (North Gauteng High Court) after a ruling that the initiative could serve papers on Zimbabwe, legal representative Willie Spies said it was the first step in recognising the rights of South African citizens in the Southern African Development Community.

"I am relived because to a large extent we played a part in developing our law. The high court has recognised the rights of parties to the SADC tribunal processes to enforce those processes within South African territory."

In 2008 the tribunal ruled that the land reform processes in Zimbabwe were illegal and racist and that those who had suffered discrimination by having their farms expropriated had the right to compensation.

Spies said the South African government attempted "to a large extent" to intervene, but to little avail.

AfriForum will on February 23 again approach the court to force Zimbabwe and South Africa to register and recognise the SADC tribunal ruling on land reform.