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Zimbabwe to ignore SA court rulings
by Staff Reporter I SAPA
ZIMBABWE will ignore the rulings of South African courts hearing challenges
to the country’s reforms by some white former commercial farmers, President
Robert Mugabe has said.
More than 4,000 white commercial farmers have lost their farms since 2000
when Zimbabwe launched a land reform programme Mugabe said was needed to
address historic imbalances in land distribution as well as economically
empower the country’s black majority.
But 78 of the ex-farmers are challenging the process in South Africa’s
However, Mugabe told state media Friday that Zimbabwe would not be bound by
the decisions of the courts.
“In South Africa they have certain elements outside the ANC and cannot be
controlled by the ANC and these are elements that once upon a time where
here and were unseated by us and have realised that in South Africa you can
go to court and get judgements,” he said
“But let them have those judgments, we will simply ignore them, South
African courts have no jurisdiction over us so we will simply ignore them.”
South Africa's constitutional court reserved judgment on Thursday on whether
local courts could enforce rulings made by the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) tribunal against Zimbabwe.
The case involves 78 Zimbabwean farmers who lost their farms during the land
reforms and successfully petitioned the SADC Tribunal in 2007 for
Zimbabwean officials ignored two of the tribunal's orders resulting in the
farmers approaching the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to have the
orders enforced in South Africa.
The High Court ordered the seizure of several Cape Town properties which
were owned by the Zimbabwean government.
Zimbabwe approached the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to have the
ruling revoked. The application was denied. The country then asked the
Supreme Court of Appeal to intervene. Their application was again dismissed.
But, in its application to the Constitutional Court, Zimbabwe argued that
protocol did not allow for a judgment obtained against Zimbabwe to be
enforced in South Africa.
Meanwhile, AfriForum lawyer Willie Spies expressed his satisfaction with the
course of the trial.
"If the appeal by Zimbabwe is dismissed, international legal history will be
made, as the planned sale will be the first sale in execution of property
belonging to a state that had been found guilty of gross human rights
violations," he said.