via Zuma suggests alternative to SADC tribunal – Times LIVE Sapa | 06 November, 2013
Zuma told the National Assembly during presidential question time that legal advisers were considering how to establish a new framework for resolving disputes within the 15-nation Southern African Development Community bloc.
“That process is being looked at by legal people because we believe it is a necessary instrument… I don’t think we could live without [it],” he said in response to a question from the Democratic Alliance.
“So there is no doubt that such an instrument would be essential and necessary. The one that got dismantled was because of the specific objection that one country made.”
Zuma has been strongly criticised for allowing objections from his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe to put the tribunal out of operation.
After the tribunal found that land seizure without compensation in Zimbabwe was racist, Mugabe rejected its rulings and jurisdiction and raised his objections at SADC summits.
In 2010, a SADC summit suspended the tribunal pending a probe into its mandate. In 2012, it was decided at another summit that the tribunal could no longer try complaints by SADC citizens against their own governments.
The tribunal had been established by SADC leaders, including Mugabe, to ensure that member states adhered to the bloc’s treaty. It obliges them to act in accordance with human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.