ZIMBABWE – International legal history will be made at 10am today when the first sale in execution of Zimbabwean property in South Africa takes place in Cape Town, civil rights group, AfriForum said.
The sale in execution was a direct result of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s human rights abuses in his country, AfriForum legal representative Willie Spies said in a statement yesterday.
AfriForum successfully assisted a group of dispossessed Zimbabwean commercial farmers to enforce a 2008 ruling by the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) regional court, the SADC Tribunal, in South Africa.
The tribunal ruled that Mugabe’s land grabs were unlawful, racist and in contravention of applicable international law, he said.
After a five-year legal battle, a property belonging to the Zimbabwe government – 28 Salisbury Road, Kenilworth, Cape Town, pictured – would be auctioned because the Zimbabwe government failed to honour cost orders of South Africa’s High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court.
AfriForum began assisting dispossessed Zimbabwean farmers and human rights activists in the country six years ago in a legal battle after Mugabe refused to comply with the order of the SADC Tribunal that his illegal land grabs had to stop, Spies said.
The order was registered in the Pretoria High Court (now North Gauteng High Court) and AfriForum’s lawyers, for the first time in March 2010, attached the property in Cape Town following the enforcement order granted then.
After unsuccessful attempts by the Zimbabwe government in the Pretoria High Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court to rescind the registration of the judgment in South Africa, the sheriff of Cape Town would proceed with the auction today.