Zim Cape Town property sold for R3,7 million
CAPE TOWN: A Zimbabwe government property in Cape Town has been auctioned for R3,7 million (approximately US$280 000) despite the Zimbabwe ambassador to South Africa’s claims that R800 000 had been paid to settle the punitive cost order required to block the sale of the house at number 28 Salisbury Road ,Kenilworth, Cape Town.
The punitive cost order was handed down by the Southern African Development Community regional court, the SADC Tribunal, in 2009. Zimbabwe then failed to honour the cost orders of South Africa’s High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and SADC’s Constitutional Court.
Zimbabwe Ambassador to South Africa, Isaac Moyo said the move by human rights group AfriForum to go ahead with the auction under the pretext of human rights violations in Zimbabwe following the 2000 fast track land reform programme was a cheap political gimmick.
“We are very disappointed by this move to sell our property under the pretense of human rights violations. These are just cheap political arguments,” Moyo told the Financial Gazzete.
“We are also very disappointed that after we had paid them R800 000, the same people went ahead with the auction,” said Moyo adding that Zimbabwe would not go back on its land reform.
Moyo alleges that the auction process was not done over board because Afriforum had proof of payment.
The Zimbabwean envoy said his embassy is urging Harare to react swiftly to the crisis.
“This auction was done on the streets, so we are consulting government to act swiftly on this issue,” said Moyo.
The auction took place on today at 10 am, despite the Zimbabwean embassy claiming that it made a payment of R800 000 on Saturday.
AfriForum represents a group of former white commercial farmers who have been pushing for the Zimbabwean government to compensate them for the loss of their land.
The SADC tribunal found in November 2008 that President Robert Mugabe’s “land grab” programme was unlawful.
After the Zimbabwean government unsuccessful tried to reverse the registration of the judgement in South Africa, the Sheriff of Cape Town proceeded with the auction.
AfriForum’s legal representative Willie Spies was quoted in South African media as saying the auction was used to compel the Zimbabwean government to pay the outstanding debt running into millions of US dollars. -Nyasha Chingono