Harare, Zimbabwe Today 10 June 2021,
“We are happy and satisfied with our lawyers, VR Attorneys Inc.’s letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa on the Rule of Law.
The letter expresses FOSMM’s displeasure in relation to the unacceptable conduct of Hon. Ebrahim Patel, Minister of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, who refused, neglected and failed to even acknowledge a letter addressed to him in January 2021.
We are encouraged that this matter has now been put to the attention of all the relevant organs of the government of South Africa, a key member of the SADC and AU family, Equally, so that together we may decisively deal with the real Zimbabwe problem.
The SMM matter is pregnant with all the material issues that will can shift paradigms on what is required to lift Zimbabwe up.
One of our members, Ms. Janice Greaver, addressed a similar letter to the Deputy Judge President, Mr. Mojapelo who also took a cavalier and arrogant attitude expressed by Mr. Justice Sunderland, who was acting as the DJP, that the judiciary is not accountable to public policy questions that undermine public trust and confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.
When we reviewed the response from Justice Sutherland, we were all reminded of the ugly past in which justice had race in it.
He practically treated us unwanted citizens choosing to tell us to go to hell for any judicial remedies. We never thought that issues of international law and comity of laws would be rendered redundant by the very people who have taken oaths to promote and protect the rule of law.
Believing that the doctrine of separation of powers would not frustrate our efforts to make the Zimbabwean government accountable for its barbaric and repugnant policies. At issue to us remains the question of whether a public policy that offends the rule of law in Zimbabwe can be recognized and enforced in South Africa.
Justice Sunderland and Patel have adopted a Stalingrad approach to our humble quest for transparency and openness in this matter of great public concern and interest.”
One of our members, Mr. Brian Manyati, said: The president must be at the forefront of protecting and promoting people’s rights when conducting affairs at the international level.
One would expect that Hon Patel would equally display the same approach and attitude.
This letter to President Ramphosa is a test case whether the CC judgment on the SADC Tribunal is instructive on judicial intolerance and SA government’s attitude in relation to rouge neighboring states who are unaccountable for their decisions and policies that undermine the rule of law.
Our case stems from the decision by the government of Zimbabwe to use public power to divest and deprive shareholders and directors of companies of their control and management.
This repugnant law was not our recognized in SA by the Mojapelo-led court but was enforced in the SA jurisdiction.
The jurisdiction of the Zimbabwean courts was removed to give life to a legal absurdity permitting a foreign creature of law to cross Beithbridge with weapon unknown in the jurisdiction but was tolerated by the SA judiciary and Hon Patel with ease.
If a law exists and operates on any SADC country that violates human and property rights, it follows that SA institutions have a duty to protect justice.’
Mr. Werner Van Rensburg, the Managing Partner of VR Attorneys Inc, and also a member of the BOAF LAW NETWORK, said: “It is worth highlighting that the landmark SADC Tribunal judgment against the then President Zuma is relevant and helps in testing the bar that needs to be met by SA public office holders in delivering the promises entrenched not only in the SADC treaty but the AU Constitutive Act and the UN conventions.
“The importance of the CC’s SADC Tribunal decision cannot be overstated; it was precedent setting, not only for South Africa but also as a reference point for governments in Africa and SADC especially.
Our clients simply calling on President Ramaphosa to comply with the duties imposed upon and for him to take steps to bring Zimbabwe into the Commonwealth of Nations who share common values and principles.”
Mr. Tapuwa Chitambo
+263 77 448 0141