Zuma suggests alternative SADC tribunal

2013-11-06 23:10
President Jacob Zuma (Picture: Sapa)

President Jacob Zuma (Picture: Sapa)

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Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday suggested an alternative to the SADC tribunal was needed but defended its disbandment at Zimbabwe's behest.

Zuma told the National Assembly during presidential question time that legal advisers were considering how to establish a new framework for resolving disputes within the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc.

"That process is being looked at by legal people because we believe it is a necessary instrument... I don't think we could live without [it]," he said in response to a question from the DA.

"So there is no doubt that such an instrument would be essential and necessary. The one that got dismantled was because of the specific objection that one country made."

Zuma has been strongly criticised for allowing objections from his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe to put the tribunal out of operation.

After the tribunal found that land seizure without compensation in Zimbabwe was racist, Mugabe rejected its rulings and jurisdiction and raised his objections at SADC summits.

In 2010, a SADC summit suspended the tribunal pending a probe into its mandate.

In 2012, it was decided at another summit that the tribunal could no longer try complaints by SADC citizens against their own governments.

The tribunal had been established by SADC leaders, including Mugabe, to ensure that member states adhered to the bloc's treaty.

It obliges them to act in accordance with human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.

Read more on:    da  |  sadc  |  jacob zuma  |  zimbabwe  |  cape town  |  parliament 2013  |  southern africa

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