Sunday World

Silence of the West’s property lambs

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Noticed how the gods of property rights in SA and the West suddenly became tongue-tied when the filthy rich Russian oligarchs suffered the indignity of their luxury properties being seized by police.

For instance, Italian police seized villas and yachts of five oligarchs worth some 150-million euros following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

These seizures were part of a coordinate­d drive by Western powers to penalise wealthy Russians and try to force the Russian leader to pull back his troops from Ukraine.

The West claims that Russia’s invasion is illegal as if their sanctions and seizures of private property are legal.

What wrong have these oligarchs done other than being filthy rich and close to the Russian president? Is it a crime to be so? More importantl­y, under what law are they seizing these properties?

What legal procedures were initiated before the seizures? Is this act not the banditry so typical of the West, especially the US? Have they not confiscate­d billions of US dollars from Iran since 1979?

The US and UK are frenetical­ly scouring their vaults looking for assets to be seized that belong to all and sundry connected to the Kremlin.

Listen to the silence of the lambs when property rights are violated by the protagonis­ts of the doctrine of property rights and the law.

When Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe confiscate­d the property of white farmers, there was an outcry. Hypocrisy is the name of these global liberal elites. Prof Themba Sono Email

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