SA-Zim deal 'bad for farmers'

2009-11-25 21:04
Pretoria - A bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement between South Africa and Zimbabwe is unconstitutional and will be challenged in court, AfriForum said on Wednesday.

"It excludes people [farmers] historically deprived of property as a result of a compulsory acquisition, of land expropriation," the organisation's legal representative Willie Spies told a press briefing in Pretoria.

He said the signing of the agreement, scheduled for Friday, would be challenged in the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday.

"The agreement contains a so-called exclusion clause. It's discrimination, it's unlawful."

Improper consultation

AgriSA president Johannes Moller said the agreement would not take into account historical ownership of land or agricultural investment up to the date of its signing. Only future investment would be protected, he said.

"It's unacceptable, the state of current investments will not be protected under this agreement."

Moller said AgriSA was not against an investment deal, but said there had not been proper consultation about it.

Deon Theron from Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers Union said it was a "huge mistake" to sign the agreement.

"This agreement cannot be signed because it has flaws, serious flaws."

Louis Fick, also from the CFU, said farmers in the neighbouring country had for about eight years asked for government's involvement.

"Unfortunately we never got that support from the [South African] embassy."

Farmer could be imprisoned

Fick is also facing possible imprisonment in Zimbabwe after he refused to leave his farm.

Spies said if the agreement was signed, it would leave no legal protection for Fick as it would safeguard him against his rights of ownership.

Earlier during the AgriSA conference with frustrated farmers who had lost their farms or faced that possibility, one farmer said he felt betrayed by the Zimbabwean government.

'Betrayed by SA govt'

"We were asked [by President Robert Mugabe] to please stay. For 20 to 30 years government was happy to take our taxes. We didn't change, the government changed.

"It's 30 years after Robert Mugabe's words. We believe there must be compensation. Your pension was your farm.

"I feel genuinely betrayed and I also feel the same about the South African government," the elderly farmer said.

Bennie Fourie, a Zimbabwean national who also lost his farm to expropriation, said: "I've farmed for 24 years, it's total discrimination.

"I am a white Zimbabwean farmer with three generations of workers on the farm. They've suffered just like me," said Fourie.
 

- SAPA
Read more on:    afriforum  |  agri sa  |  zimbabwe
NEXT ON NEWS24X

8 dead in KZN accidents

50 minutes ago
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.