Saturday, July 31, 2010

Newest Campbell case update

There has been some activity in Southern Africa regarding the SADC Tribunal ruling concerning land reform in Zimbabwe. The North Gauteng High Court in South Africa postponed the auctioning of the property owned by the government of Zimbabwe in South Africa. The postponement was due to an emergency application by the Zimbabwe Government. The application argued that because the properties were under diplomatic immunity the sale of the property could not be done legally.

There were two respondents in the case, a German Development bank, KFW Bankengruppe, and Afriforum. Both respondents separately won judgments against the ZIm government and now seek the sale of these properties in South Africa in satisfaction of those judgements. The bank won a judgment against the ZIm government for failure to pay back a loan. Afriforum is the civil rights group working with the farmers who won the SADC Tribunal ruling in 2008.

Concurrently, two of the white farmers involved in the ORIGINAL ruling by SADC, Louis Fick and Michael Campbell, applied to the tribunal for a further judgement based on the non-compliance of the government of Zimbabwe with the first judgement. In the current case, No. SADC (T) 01/2010, the Tribunal found that the Respondent, the Republic of Zimbabwe, was in continuous violation of previous court decisions. The 16 July judgment gave some pertinent case history. Mike Campbell brought the application based on two previous decisions of the Tribunal ruling in his and other farmer’s favour. [The first was Mike Campbell (Pvt) Limited and others v The Republic of Zimbabwe. The second was the case of William Campbell and Another v The Republic of Zimbabwe.].As a result of the non-compliance the Tribunal resolved to report the matter to the SADC Heads of State meeting to be held in Windhoek, Namibia in August 2010. It also ordered costs against the Respondent.

It remains to be seen if reporting to the Head of State of SADC members will have any consequences.

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