Thursday, May 20, 2010

Von Abo et al

It appears that more interested parties are attaching Zimbabwe owned properties in South Africa. Recently, a German development bank, KFW Bankengruppe attached 6 properties located in SA and owned by the Zim government. The attachment is intended to satisfy a debt owed the bank by the government of Zimbabwe.

Apparently, the government of Zim borrowed the money through the entity, Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Co. Ltd in 1998. The loan amount, 40 million Euros, was to be paid in instalments. The government defaulted in 2002 after making 4 payments.

The bank made several attempts to collect. It even hired an arbitrator to assist in obtaining payment of the debt. Success was elusive so the bank sought redress in the courts.

Some of the properties are the same ones sought after in satisfaction of the Von Abo v. Govt of the Republic of South Africa, et al 3106/07 decided 5/2/2010 case. The Von Abo case in SA was merely about registering the SADC tribunal judgment against the government of Zimbabwe in favour of white farmers who lost their land without compensation. The SADC tribunal found Zimbabwe’s land reform programme discriminatory based on race.

The properties will be auctioned by the Sheriff in late July 2010. The German bank and the plaintiffs from the SADC tribunal judgement intend to share in the proceeds proportionately.

No matter whose side you are on this is a fascinating turn of events.
Lawyers intend to get paid-even when they work for banks.
Debts to banks do not get forgiven in a recession.
Gotta pay the piper eventually.


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