Zim plans further appeal against landmark SA court ruling

The Zimbabwean government is planning yet another appeal against a landmark decision in a South African court, to uphold the regional Tribunal ruling that the Zim land grab was unlawful.


Attorney General Johannes Tomana has said he is preparing to file an appeal at South Africa’s Constitutional Court, after the Supreme Court of Appeal last week dismissed the Zim government’s original appeal against the North Gauteng High Court decision in 2010. That High Court decision was the result of a legal challenge lodged by farmers who lost land in Zimbabwe during the land grab, and who were forced to turn to South Africa for assistance when Zimbabwe refused to honour the regional human rights Tribunal.

"We have spent a lot of money fighting in the South African courts and it

all comes down to the fact that SA is disrespecting the diplomatic immunity

that governs relations between sovereign states and is defying a directive

by regional leaders to stop the work of the Tribunal," Tomana said.

ZANU PF Minister Didymus Mutasa has said that the government will call on South Africa’s ruling ANC party to make a political decision and block ruling, which will result in the auction of property belonging to the Zim government in Cape Town.

Lawyer Willie Spies, representing the farmers, told SW Radio Africa that he hopes South Africa’s commitments to human and rights and democracy, as enshrined in the country’s constitution, will be upheld in this case.

“These principals must be protected at all cost because they are fundamental to a good democracy and if tampered with this becomes a threat to a good democracy,” Spies said.

He meanwhile dismissed arguments by a member of the Zim government’s legal team, Martin Dinha that the South African ruling goes against international laws, particularly the Vienna Convention.

“A critical aspect of the Vienna convention is that a country can’t call on its sovereignty to justify or protect itself against the consequences of human rights violations. This is an important principal of the convention which the Zimbabwean authorities are ignoring,” Spies said. – SW Radio Africa News

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