South Africa questions SADC`s legal reach

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
03 August 2010

Concern is being raised over the South African government’s intention to seek a legal opinion on the legal reach of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), over Zimbabwe’s refusal to honour the SADC Treaty.

The SADC Tribunal in 2008 ordered the Zimbabwean government to compensate farmers for the farms that were seized and to protect the farmers’ rights to their land. Those orders have all been ignored in Zimbabwe and the Tribunal has since ruled the government as being in contempt, three times.

But in Zimbabwe the Tribunal has been openly snubbed by the government, with Robert Mugabe and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa declaring that the Tribunal’s rulings were null and void. A shock High Court decision then followed this year with Justice Bharat Patel ruling that the Tribunal’s orders on land reform have no authority in Zimbabwe.

South African courts on the other hand have become the first regional country to enforce a SADC ruling against another member state in their own territory. The High Court ruled earlier this year ruled in [continue reading]


  1. Christian Allard

    Justice Bharat Patel ruling that the tribunal’s orders on land reform have no authority in Zimbabwe makes a lot of sense as land reform is enshrined in the Zimbabwe Constitution. A regional or an international tribunal cannot supersede a nation’s constitution anywhere in the world.

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