ZIMBABWE FARM DISPUTES- Lobby Group To Take Another Step Against SA Government

Shout-Africa News

The lobby group AfriForum will meet with a senior

legal team this week to decide on legal steps agains

the SouthAfrican government in response to the

latter’s neglect to protect thelives and property of

South Africans in Zimbabwe. On 9  June2010,

AfriForum served a lawyer’s letter to the Department

of Tradeand Industry to demand that the South African

government shouldintervene urgently to protect citizens

in Zimbabwe.

There was no response to AfriForum’s letter to the

Department was given time to midnight, 15 June 2010.

This step followed after several South Africans farming

in Zimbabwe had become subject to renewed, exacerbated

onslaughts of land grabbers. In terms of the settlement

reached between AfriForum and the South African government

the BIPPA Trade Agreement, formalised as a court order by the

Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria in November 2009, the

South African government undertook to maintain the rights and

remedies of victims of Zimbabwe’s illegal land expropriation

programme. In terms of the Minister’s affidavits for the case, as

well as the subsequent court order, South Africans have a right

to protection as defined by this agreement.

According to Alana Bailey, deputy CEO of AfriForum, it is

Outrageous that the government does not take steps to comply with

its undertaking to its citizens. “It is even more shocking to see that

the government invites Robert Mugabe as guest to the World Cup Soccer

Tournament, thereby indulging the man responsible for these, as well

as numerous other human rights violations, instead of taking action

against him. This sends a perturbing message regarding the South

African government’s commitment to the

protection of human rights and shows a total lack of respect for not

only South Africans in Zimbabwe, but for all victims of the


AfriForum says it will decide on a course of action in accordance with

its legal team’s advice. Meanwhile AfriForum has welcomed the

announcement that the Queen of England has awarded a MBE to Ben Freeth

– the activist for Zimbabwean farmers who had lost their land, whose

struggle is covered so poignantly by the documentary Mugabe and the

White African. AfriForum congratulates Freeth with this well-deserved

honour. According to the Queen’s birthday list of 2010, this award is

made based on “services to the farming community in Zimbabwe”.

The lobby group says it has ‘the greatest respect for Freeth and his

fellow  farmers’ who refuse to yield in the face of the injustices of

the Mugabe-regime.

“The only way in which tyrants like Mugabe can be stopped, is when

people refuse to accept their injustices or to be silenced by them,”

Bailey added.