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Zimbabwe Property Auction Appeal Goes to S.African Court

Zimbabwe has appealed a ruling by the South African Supreme Court allowing displaced white farmers to attach and auction properties owned by Harare across the Limpopo.

Attorney General Johannes Tomana told VOA Thursday he has since filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court of South Africa, arguing that the Supreme Court decision is in violation of international law.

"We are talking about relations between states and we all know that those relations are governed by international law, in particular the Geneva Convention that provides for diplomatic immunity," Tomana said.

"What that simply means is that a sovereign [nation] cannot be subjected to the processes that we are being subjected to in South Africa. A diplomat is inviolable as much as diplomatic property in a foreign land."

The South African Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the decision by the Gauteng High Court last month, paving the way for the seizure of Zimbabwean properties in that country.

The matter was brought by a now-deceased white commercial farmer, Mike Campbell, who was violently driven off his property by Zanu PF supporters at the height of land invasions.

Campbell reportedly suffered physical and emotional trauma that led to his rapid decline, resulting in his subsequent death in 2011.

A tribunal of the South African Development Community - now dissolved - ruled in 2008 that Harare's land seizures were racist and illegal and ordered the government to compensate displaced farmers.

It was not clear when the matter will be set down for hearing. But human rights lawyer Matshobana Ncube dismissed the appeal as misdirected.