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Zimbabwe Filing Court Appeal to Block SA Property Seizure

Harare is preparing to file an appeal in South Africa’s Constitutional Court following last week's judgment by South Africa’s Supreme Court for Zimbabwe’s property in Cape Town to be auctioned to compensate white commercial farmers who lost their farms during the country’s chaotic land reform program.

Attorney General Johannes Tomana is said to be logging the appeal, charging South Africa has over-stepped Zimbabwe’s diplomatic immunity in its judgment that governs sovereign states.

The judgement dishes out $20,000 to each farmer affected by the 2000 land seizures.

Afriforum legal spokesman and attorney for the commercial farmers, Willie Spies, told VOA he is confident Harare will lose the case in the constitutional court.

In its 2008 ruling, the regional Southern African Development Communiity Tribunal noted that Harare’s land seizures by war veterans and Zanu PF supporters and sanctioned by President Robert Mugabe were illegal and racist.

In 2010, a Gauteng High Court ruled that South Africa could enforce that order but Zimbabwe filed an appeal against the ruling.

Harare has argued that South Africa can not enforce the 2008 SADC Tribunal ruling because it does not have jurisdiction over Harare.

But the farmers' legal representatives have countered saying Harare is tied down by the ruling because as a member and signatory of the regional court, it must adhere to the judgements.

Under the provisions of the tribunal, any member state was expected to enforce any ruling passed by the regional court which has since been disbanded.

Zimbabwe is yet to present its appeal to the South African Constitutional Court.
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