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Court rules in favour of white Zim farmers

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Court rules in favour of white Zim farmers

25th February 2010

By: Sapa

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Southern African Development Community (SADC) tribunal rulings against the seizure of farmers' land in Zimbabwe should be registered, recognised and enforceable by the South African government, the High Court in Pretoria ordered on Thursday.

Judge Garth Rabie ruled in favour of white farmers - represented by AfriForum - who have argued that the seizure of their land without compensation was a human rights abuse.

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Speaking outside the court, AfriForum's legal representative Willie Spies said that the ruling was a "huge" coup for the farmers.

"It is a moral victory. The court ruled that Zimbabwe should honour this ruling. They, the farmers, are desperate.

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The two tribunal rulings - in 2008 and 2009 - also declared that should compensation not be forthcoming, South Africa, as SADC member could attach Zimbabwe's assets as compensation.

The Zimbabwean government did not recognise the SADC order protecting the property rights of those still on their farms.

Ben Freeth, who was in court on behalf of farmer Mike Campbell, said that the farm had been set fire to and been robbed on numerous occasions.

"It's very, very difficult, but today is a victory for justice. It's so exciting," said Freeth.

In January, the court granted the applicants leave to add the Zimbabwean government to the court proceedings.

On delivery of the court papers, the government filed notice to withdraw, rendering the court application by AfriForum unopposed.

 

 

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