SA government

File Photo

White farmers launch fresh international legal action against Zimbabwe

Could a little-known legislation from 2008 give these Zim farmers the compensation they deserve?

SA government

File Photo

Supported by the South African Development Community, groups of white farmers are once again fighting for justice over Zimbabwe’s chaotic land reform programme in 2000.

Around 4,500 of them were forcefully removed from their own land during the violent confrontations that followed the hastily-arranged plans. Only a few hundred white farm owners still operate in Zim.

Zimbabwe land reforms

Ben Freeth is the SADP’s spokesman for Tribunal Rights Watch, Zimbabwe and he firmly believes the law is on their side in this ongoing war for justice. Freeth cited a law from 2008 that ‘guarantees’ his clients some form of compensation:

“We have a final and binding judgement from the SADC Tribunal in 2008 which held that that fair compensation should be paid by the Zimbabwe government for land it had taken and the government is in contempt of it.”

Last Wednesday and Thursday, President Mugabe and the collective Zimbabwean government were served formal notices to initiate proceedings by the farmers’ legal team, who are also being assisted by civil rights group AfriForum.


Mr Freeth also gave a grim warning about the current state of Zimbabwe, claiming that it is falling further and further into ‘failed state’ territory

“Unless the culture of impunity stops, no investment will take place in our country and the economic crisis will deepen. Without property rights and the rule of law our negative trajectory as a failed state will accelerate.”

Read: Record number of SA farmers are selling up amid fears of land grabs

Land Grabs

Zimbabwe’s white farmers have faced long, fruitless fights against the country’s shambolic implementation of land reform. In the seventeen years that have passed, their cases have not managed to provide any meaningful compensation for those affected.

AfriForum’s eagerness to assist the victims isn’t the only diplomatic wound they are trying to address involving Zimbabwe: A Gerrie Nel-led team are currently trying to revoke Grace Mugabe’s diplomatic immunity for her assault on Gabrielle Engels.

The bulldog is single-handedly hounding the Mugabe regime.