Sale of Zimbabwe property going ahead

2012-09-20 20:32

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Bloemfontein - The sale of a Zimbabwean government-owned property in Cape Town to settle a punitive legal cost order will go ahead, civil rights group AfriForum said on Thursday.

"We will ask the sheriff in Cape Town this week to continue with arrangements for the judicial selling of the property in Salisbury Way in Kenilworth," said AfriForum spokesperson Willie Spies.

This follows a dismissed appeal by the Zimbabwean government in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

The SCA heard an appeal by the Zimbabwean government against a high court ruling, which registered and enforced a Southern African Development Community (SADC) tribunal ruling locally and resulted in the attachment of Zimbabwean property in Cape Town.

"It would probably be the first time in legal history that there would be a judicial selling of a state’s property owing to gross human rights [violations]," said Spies.

The litigation began when Zimbabwean farmer Mike Campbell approached the SADC tribunal in Windhoek for relief in 2008.

Illegal, racist

This was after he and his family were targeted by the land grabs of Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe.

The tribunal, comprising five judges from various Southern African states, ruled in November 2008 that the Zimbabwean land reform process was illegal and racist.

It held that Campbell and 77 other farmers in the matter should be left in peace and their property rights restored.

Continued legislation led to the registration of the tribunal's finding in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in February 2010, and the attachment of a Zimbabwean government-owned property in Kenilworth, Cape Town.

The attachment was to satisfy a punitive cost order granted by the SADC tribunal.

On Thursday, a unanimous SCA judgment by a full bench of five judges held that Zimbabwe's contention that it was not bound by the amendments of the SADC treaty had no merit.

AfriForum helped the group of Zimbabwean farmers to register the regional tribunal’s finding in South Africa, which would now result in the selling of the Kenilworth property.

- SAPA
Read more on:    afriforum  |  sadc  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
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