Monday, July 08, 2013


(NEWZIMBABWE, SAPA) Zimbabwe loses SA court appeal

27/06/2013 00:00:00
by SAPA

THE government lost a Constitutional Court appeal on Thursday against a SADC Tribunal costs order awarded to a group of farmers who challenged the loss of their land. The court dismissed the government's appeal against a decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal in the matter.

The farmers' land was expropriated in terms of the country's land reform policy but the farmers approached the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal for relief and the tribunal decided in their favour.

Zimbabwe refused to comply with its decision and the farmers again approached the tribunal for relief. The tribunal found in their favour and granted a costs order against the government. Again Zimbabwe failed to comply.
The farmers approached the High Court in Pretoria for the registration and enforcement of the costs order in South Africa.

The court ordered the registration and execution of the costs order against the Zimbabwe government's property in South Africa, in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

A high court application for the rescission of the order was dismissed.
Zimbabwe appealed unsuccessfully to the SCA and approached the Constitutional Court, which also dismissed its application.

The majority of judges held that the Constitution enjoined South Africa's courts to develop the common law to facilitate the enjoyment of the rights provided for in the Bill of Rights.

The court said Zimbabwe’s agreement to be bound by the Tribunal Protocol, including article 32, constituted an express waiver in terms of section 3(1) of the Immunities Against States Act.


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