The Star Early Edition

Proceeds of sale will go to landless farmers


THE HOUSE at 28 Salisbury Road in Kenilworth, Cape Town, which previously belonged to the Zimbabwean government, has now been registered in the name of its new owner, civil rights group AfriForum said yesterday.

The registrati­on took place on Friday. The new owner, a private property investor from Cape Town, bought the property for R3.7 million at public auction on September 21 last year.

The sheriff of Wynberg would now distribute the proceeds of the sale between three judgment creditor parties who attached the property, AfriForum lawyer Willie Spies said.

The registrati­on of the property brought to a close a six-year legal battle which AfriForum managed on behalf of Zimbabwean farmers affected by President Robert Mugabe’s controvers­ial land grabs.

It was also the first time in internatio­nal legal history that a litigation process regarding human rights violations, instituted by private individual­s against a state, led to the attachment, sale in execution, and transfer of the particular state’s assets in a neighbouri­ng country, Spies said.

In November 2009, AfriForum was approached by farmers Louis Fick, Ben Freeth and Wynand Hart, and former Zimbabwean Commercial Farmers Union president Deon Theron to help them enforce an order of the Southern Africa Developmen­t Community Tribunal against Zimbabwe.

The tribunal ruled in November 2008 that Mugabe’s land grab policies were illegal and racist and that it had to be stopped and reversed. However, Mugabe violated the order and continued with the process.

Spies said that with the transfer of the property, AfriForum could now close the book on its legal battle against the land reform process in Zimbabwe. – ANA

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