Zim govt property in SA set for auction
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – A Cape Town property belonging to the Zimbabwean government is set to be auctioned on Friday after government disobeyed court orders to compensate dispossessed farmers.
The property in Kennilworh will go under the hammer following a five-year legal battle as Zimbabwe failed to honor cost orders of South Africa’s High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court.
AfriForum has successfully assisted a group of dispossessed Zimbabwean commercial farmers to enforce a 2008 ruling by the Southern African Development Community’s regional court, the SADC Tribunal, in South Africa.
The tribunal ruled that Zimbabwe’s land grabs were unlawful, racist and in contravention of applicable international law.
The order was registered in the High Court in Pretoria and AfriForum’s lawyers, for the first time in March 2010, attached the property in Cape Town following the enforcement order granted then.
After unsuccessful attempts by the Zimbabwe government in the Pretoria High Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court, to rescind the registration of the judgment in South Africa, the Sheriff of Cape Town will proceed with the auction on Monday.
AfriForum welcomed the action.
“When the auction takes place, it will be the first time in history that a decision of a human rights tribunal in Africa leads to the sale of a property of the country that has been guilty of human rights abuses at a public auction by the sheriff,” it said.
AfriForum said it was also assisting dispossessed Zimbabwean farmers in a separate lawsuit against President Jacob Zuma and his ministers of justice and international relations.
This lawsuit is in response to the South African government’s alleged complicity in the illegal process that led to the suspension of the SADC Tribunal’s power to adjudicate on human rights abuses against citizens of member states.
The case will be heard in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria early next year.
– CAJ News
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