Sadc Tribunal back

via Sadc Tribunal back August 14, 2014 by Paidamoyo Muzulu

SOUTHERN Africa Development Community (Sadc) member states will this week sign the new Tribunal Protocol to re-establish the bloc’s court of appeal that was disbanded in 2010 after Zimbabwe protested its alleged biased ruling on the land reform programme.

Then the tribunal had ordered the Zimbabwean government to stop its seizure of white-owned farms and compensate the affected farmers.

Since then the bloc has been consulting member states to come up with a new protocol that would be endorsed this week.

The tribunal that was headquartered in Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, had jurisdiction over the following countries: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“The new protocol will come into force at the Sadc Summit at Victoria Falls,” a member of the Zimbabwean delegation working on the committee confirmed.

“The tribunal, like other organs of Sadc, will still receive most of its budget support from multilateral institutions,” the source added.

The bloc at the 2012 Maputo summit in its communiqué said: “Sadc leaders resolved that a new Protocol on the Tribunal should be negotiated and its mandate confined to interpretation of the Sadc Treaty and Protocols relating to disputes between Member States.”
The new tribunal thus will be significantly and substantially different to the original which allowed individuals to approach the court with their cases against their governments.
Decisions of the tribunal were final.
The tribunal’s life came to an unexpected halt after Zimbabwean white commercial farmers approached the court to declare the country’s land reform exercise as racist and unconstitutional.
The court ruled in the farmers’ favour and since then the
matter is still pending in South African courts after Zimbabwe refused to comply with the court’s order.
The tribunal had 10 judges, of whom five were regular members who sat on most cases.
Zimbabwe was represented on the bench by Justice Antonia Guvava who has since returned home and joined the Supreme Court bench.


  • comment-avatar

    Why bother? If a country disagrees with a ruling, they can just ignore it like Zimbabwe did. None of the other members gave a monkeys – they just disbanded it with barely a shrug. That’s such a serious lack of resolve, what hope is there if one day there is an actual conflict?

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 9 years ago

    The trouble with these idiots they cannot run anything including this organisation without funding it themselves – they have to scrounge around

  • comment-avatar

    A paper tiger for sure…

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    Doris 9 years ago

    So, if the farmers case is still pending despite the fact that the Tribunal ruled in their Favour, does this mean that their case will be re heard? Or am I just farting in the wind?

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    Simply Simon 9 years ago

    This is a tragedy for people of all races who live in SADC….. Governments that override the law when it does not suit them…and then change the law…a president set by Zimbabwe during the Land Reform Program… if you lose a case, change the law.

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    pro truth 9 years ago

    This is a tragedy for the 250 million people in SADC have been deprived of a court of last resort when their own justice systems fail them – as they periodically will. The vison of the leaders who wrote the SADC Treaty has been undemocratically betrayed. Only criminals are afraid of justice.