Pressure from SAAI to reinstate SADC Tribunal

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Reinstatement of SADC tribunal requested – SAAI

Theo de Jager

19 August 2019

Body was dissolved after rulings declared that EWC in Zimbabwe was illegal

SAAI requests reinstatement of SADC tribunal

19 August 2019

The Southern African Agri Initiative (SAAI) plans on providing greater momentum to growing legal pressure on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to reinstate the SADC tribunal. 

SADC leaders dissolved the tribunal in 2011 after a number of rulings against the Zimbabwean government, which declared that the expropriation without compensation in this country had been illegal and violated the SADC treaty.

After damning judgements in the South African High Court and Constitutional Court that former President Jacob Zuma’s support for the dissolution of the tribunal had been unconstitutional and irrational, President Cyril Ramaphosa withdrew South Africa’s signing of the dissolution agreement at the 39th SADC conference in Tanzania over the past weekend. Although SAAI welcomes this step, it remains tragic that political leaders cannot take moral leadership over universal principles themselves, but must be forced by the courts to do so. 

“It is important that organisations from across the spectrum support the reinstatement of the tribunal. The tribunal creates an alternative remedy for individuals where conflicts with the state arise. In the context of expropriation without compensation, this strategy will certainly be a strategy to follow,” says Dr Theo de Jager, SAAI’s Chairperson of the Board of Directors.

The High Court in Tanzania delivered a similar ruling in June and condemned the Tanzanian government’s support to dissolve the tribunal.  

SADC’s legal association also appealed strongly for the reinstatement of the tribunal. The conspicuous unlawful dissolution of the tribunal damaged Southern Africa’s attractiveness as investment destination in a time in which this region could afford it the least. 

Issued by Carina Bester, Media Relations Officer, SAAI, 19 August 2019

Tel: 012 881 0012; Email address: enquires@saai.org

https://www.politicsweb.co.za/politics/reinstatement-of-sadc-tribunal-requested--SAAI