By Mark Mhukayesango
Cape Town, September 21, 2015-A Human Rights group,Afriforum which represents disgruntled former white farmers from Zimbabwe the 2000 land grab have scored a first against President Robert Mugabe’s administration when they successfully auctioned the country’s property here today.
The property situated at situated at 28 Salisbury Road, Kenilworth, Cape Town was sold to a private bidder for R3 760 000.
AfriForum successfully assisted a group of dispossessed Zimbabwean commercial farmers to enforce a 2008 ruling by the Southern African Development Community’s regional court, the SADC Tribunal, in South Africa.
The regional court ruled that the land grabs of 2000 were unlawful and violated human rights.
In a statement seen by Radio VOP, AntiForum was elated by the auctioning of the property ,saying it was justice for the dispossessed farmers who were chased out of Zimbabwe shamelessly in the Jambanja.
“International legal history was made on Monday when the first sale in execution of a Zimbabwean property in South Africa took place as a direct result of President Robert Mugabe’s human rights abuses in his country,” Antiforum said in a statement.
The decision to sell the property was made after a five-year legal battle, with the pressure group claiming that the Zimbabwean government failed to honor cost orders of South African High Court.
Even though the Zimbabwean embassy claimed to have paid R800 000 on Saturday , the auction went ahead today at 10 pm at the Sheriff of Wynberg.
“The order was registered in the High Court in Pretoria and AfriForum’s lawyers, for the first time in March 2010, attached the property in Cape Town following the enforcement order granted then.”the statement issued this afternoon stated.
Antiforum said the litigation is mainly aimed at abuse of human rights and disrespecting the rule of law.
“AfriForum regards its litigation against the Zimbabwe government as a civil sanction campaign against the ongoing and systemic abuse of human rights and the rule of law, and the destruction of land ownership in Zimbabwe.”
Zimbabwe has come under human rights groups scrutiny after the disappearance of activist and journalist , Itai Dzamara and the failure to compensate white farmers who lost their farms.
Speaking to Radio VOP, AfriForum legal representative, Willie Spies was elated that the farmers finally got victory against Mugabe.
“This was the first time in history that a decision of a human rights tribunal in Africa lead to the sale of a property of the country that has been guilty of human rights abuses,” Spies said.
Zimbabwe Ambassador told Radio VOP that the auction was meant to score cheap political points and setting a wrong precedence.
Moyo said his embassy would deal with the issues.
“if they think that the land reform program will be reversed they are deceiving themselves. How can they sell the property when we have proof that we paid” said Moyo.
Moyo lamented:”We have lost the house. They want the international community to make us a laughing stock.”