New application to SADC Tribunal Makes History

Jeremy Gauntlett, a leading South African advocate, filed the urgent application on behalf of two dispossessed Zimbabwean commercial farmers, both of whom ran highly successful farming enterprises, and both of whom are elderly.

The first applicant is William Michael Campbell of Mount Carmel farm in the Chegutu district of Mashonaland West province, and the second applicant is his company, Mike Campbell (Pvt) Ltd. The third applicant is Luke Tembani of the Remainder of Minverwag farm at Clare Estate Ranch in the Nyazura district of Manicaland province.

The first respondent is the “Summit of the Heads of State or Government of SADC” and the Presidents of 15 countries, including Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. The second respondent is the Council of Ministers of SADC and the third is the Republic of Zimbabwe.

The application asks for an order that ensures “the [SADC] Tribunal continues to function in all respects as established by Article 16 of the Treaty.”

SADC leaders suspended the tribunal after complaints from President Mugabe who charged that the regional court was illegal.

Mugabe has lost several land disputes in the SADC Tribunal brought by disposed white former commercial farmers.