Harare: The Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa last week ruled against Zimbabwe's appeal against North Gauteng's High Court registration and enforcement of a ruling by the Sadc Tribunal that Zimbabwe's land reform laws and policies were racist in nature, and that displaced farmers were entitled to full and proper compensation for their expropriated farms.
Windhoek: Namibia's Foreign Minister and former Government Coordinator of Human Rights, Utoni Nujoma is reported to have said last month that people did not eat democracy, but food. Such a dreary view of rights created traces of a conversation about the ethical and philosophical grounding of Namibia’s foreign policy. While the conversation about the anchors of the country’s foreign policy is essential, it is important to locate the country’s vacillation on human rights within the historical framing of Swapo.
New York: The United Nations should consider the views of regional organizations when it comes to resolving conflicts, Namibia’s President, Hifikepunye Pohamba, told the General Assembly’s high-level debate, commending the role played by African organizations in settling disputes on the continent. “Regional and sub-regional organizations are important partners in solving conflicts in the affected areas throughout the world,” President Pohamba said in his address to the General Debate of the Assembly’s 67th session, taking place at UN Headquarters in New York.
This briefing paper sketches the role South Africa has and might play in promoting rule of law beyond its borders and especially within the SADC region which suffers a rule of law deficit: Although not the focus of this paper, it is important to note that South Africa’s domestic legal system is regarded as generally sound and that domestically rule of law is well established – both to contrast the domestic situation with the role South Africa adopts abroad and to appreciate the extent to which this domestic feature might be (and is not) leveraged for international authority on the international stage.
Johannesburg: There are three ways to view the advent of international courts - ‘Community law', as some style it - in Europe and Southern Africa. The first is suggested by the title for this session: a noble dream (in the phrase Nicola Lacey has so tellingly used in her biography of HLA Hart), but one which wakes to disillusion, or dysfunction, or both. The second is Lacey's antithesis: nightmare. There are two variants of this. The first is that projected in Southern Africa by Zimbabwe, and other countries which (as I shall describe) have flocked to its standard.
That the future of the SADC Tribunal would be governed by whim and not by law was signalled in its earliest days: its courthouse in Windhoek, Namibia was gutted by fire before it had even heard its first case. Had the Tribunal shut its doors then it would have been a far less ignominious end than was to happen five years later in August 2012 when the SADC Summit of heads of state and government (the Summit) decided to close it down.
The recently held SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in Maputo brought the raft of challenges confronting the region into sharp relief. The Summit is again a manifestation of the serious structural deficits that plague the institution, particularly as this concerns the state-centric nature of the regional integration project. The interface between a blighted regional landscape and inherently dysfunctional summit architecture and weak institutional delivery platforms raises serious concerns about the normative coherence and cohesion of SADC as a development community.
Kampala: There has been a big push to lower political temperatures in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but President Joseph Kabila could emerge weaker, and his silent dependence on his East African neighbours to hold on to power could deepen. The conflict in eastern DR Congo that flared up recently, threatened to suck several countries into a new war, and set neighbouring Rwanda on a collision course with its international allies, improved quickly over the past week.
Zanzibar: Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal, on Wednesday urged Southern African Region Police Chiefs to strengthen cooperation to curb escalating cross border crimes, a threat to peace and stability in the region. "Deliberate on recommendations from technical committee and come up with workable resolutions on various issues affecting our region which continues to be exposed to many forms of transnational crimes," Bilal said when opening the Southern African Region Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARCCO).