Former Zimbabwe commercial farmers sue SA for US$300 million

Former Zimbabwe commercial farmers sue SA for US$300 million

By Loyiso Sidimba for IOL News 

DOZENS of former Zimbabwean commercial farmers are demanding R7 billion (about US$306 million) from the South African government for its role in the suspension go the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal.

The farmers had intended to sue the Zimbabwean government at the SADC Tribunal, whose operations stopped in 2014 with the backing of then South African president Jacob Zuma.

Most of the Zimbabwean commercial farmers lost their businesses during the country’s land grabs in the early 2000s.

They have launched two lawsuits at the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, demanding R5bn and R2bn in damages for losses they suffered after the South African government supported the 2014 suspension of the SADC Tribunal.

In December 2018, the Constitutional Court declared Zuma’s participation in the decision-making process and his own decision to suspend the operations of the SADC Tribunal unconstitutional, unlawful and irrational and directed his successor, President Cyril Ramaphosa, to withdraw his signature from the 2014 protocol suspending the tribunal’s operations.

The tribunal had jurisdiction over disputes between states and between natural or legal persons and states.

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