The court also ruled that SADC tribunal rulings against the land grabs in Zimbabwe should be registered, recognised and enforceable by the South African government.
Judge Garth Rabie ruled in favour of white farmers – represented by AfriForum – who have argued that the seizure of their land without compensation was a human rights abuse.
Speaking outside the court, AfriForum’s legal representative Willie Spies said the ruling was a “huge” coup for the farmers. “It is a moral victory. The court ruled that Zimbabwe should honour this ruling. They, the farmers, are desperate.”
Spies told News24 that Afriforum had already identified a number of houses that would cover the compensation costs of the farmers.
According to SABC News, the ruling affects some 4 000 farmers.
The Zimbabwean government did not recognise the SADC order protecting property rights of those still on their farms.
Ben Freeth, who was in court on behalf of farmer Mike Campbell, said his farm had been set fire to and been robbed on numerous occasions. “It’s very, very difficult, but today (Thursday) is a victory for justice. It’s so exciting,” said Freeth.
In January, the court granted the applicants leave to add the Zimbabwean government to the court proceedings.
On delivery of the court papers, the government filed notice to withdraw, rendering the court application by AfriForum unopposed. SAPA