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Pretoria ordered to pay farmer for not protecting him from Mugabe

The South African government was ordered by a Pretoria High Court judge to pay damages to a South African farmer, Crawford von Abo, who had been farming in Zimbabwe for not protecting him from President Robert Mugabe’s land expropriations.

Von Abo had been farming in Zimbabwe for 50 years and was arrested for “trespassing” on one of his 11 farms in 1997 and spent time in a Zimbabwean jail as ZANU-PF cracked down on white farmers and expropriated their land.

The damages were estimated at about R100 million.

Judge Bill Prinsloo ruled that the government should take all necessary steps to have Von Abo’s violation of his rights remedied, within 60 days, and to report back to court on the steps that it had taken.

 

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 10PRETORIA310, SOUTH AFRICA POLITICAL NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 6-FEBRUARY 12

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

10PRETORIA310

2010-02-12 17:39

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Pretoria

VZCZCXRO2879

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSA #0310 0431739

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 121739Z FEB 10

FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1240

RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 7577

RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 1642

RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 9931

UNCLAS PRETORIA 000310

 

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV ASEC KDEM SF

SUBJECT: SOUTH AFRICA POLITICAL NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 6-FEBRUARY 12

 

1. (SBU) This was written in partnership with the Open Source

Center’s Pretoria Bureau. The newsletter is open to contributions

from officers in the Embassy or in the Consulates who wish to

highlight political trends. Contact Madeline Seidenstricker or

Jonathan Smallridge for more information, or to make contributions.

The newsletter also is available on the Political Section’s blog, “A

View from South Africa,” found on intelink.gov.

 

————-

Domestic News

————-

 

Gay Rights Groups Protest Appointment of Qwelane as Ambassador to

Uganda

 

2. (SBU) Gay and Lesbian rights groups gathered outside Parliament

on February 12, the day after President Zuma’s State of the Nation

address, to protest the appointment of John Qwelane as South

Africa’s Ambassador to Uganda. Columnist Qwelane is facing charges

of hate speech for comparing homosexuality to bestiality in one of

his columns. Gay and lesbian rights groups called the appointment

of Qwelane, at a time when Uganda is considering further steps to

criminalize homosexuality, a step backward in the fight against

homophobia.

 

News of Zuma Love-Child Sparks Outrage

3. (SBU) Public outrage over news reports that President Zuma

fathered an out-of-wedlock child

undercut planned atmospherics for the annual State of the Nation

address, timed to take full advantage of the twentieth anniversary

of Nelson Mandela’s release. News of Zuma’s 4-month-old daughter,

the 20th child for the 67-year-old president, born to the daughter

of a top World Cup organizer, generated headlines that continued for

days in the run-up to the State of the Union. Initially addressing

the “love-child issue” as a personal matter, Zuma issued a statement

of apology on February 6, saying he regretted the pain he had caused

the nation.

 

——————

International News

——————

 

4. (SBU) The South African government has been ordered by a Pretoria

High Court judge to pay damages to a South African farmer, farming

in Zimbabwe, for not protecting South Africans from Robert Mugabe’s

land expropriations. Free State farmer Crawford von Abo, who began

farming in Zimbabwe 50 years ago, was arrested for “trespassing” on

his one of his 11 farms in 1997 and even spent time in a Zimbabwean

jail as Zanu-PF cracked down on white farmers and expropriated their

land. The damages are estimated to be as high as R100 million.

Judge Bill Prinsloo ruled then that the government should, within 60

days, take all necessary steps to have Von Abo’s violation of his

rights remedied and to report back to court about the steps it had

taken. (IOL, February 9)

 

 

5. (SBU) Zimbabwe’s Co-Ministers of Home Affairs on Saturday

February 6, urged thousands of Zimbabweans living in South Africa to

return home and help rebuild the country’s economy. Addressing a

gathering in Johannesburg, Ministers Kembo Mohadi (Zanu-PF) and

Giles Mutsekwa (MDC-T) said the government was ready to drop all

charges against political activists and specified business people

who are currently living outside the country. Unemployment in

Zimbabwe however, remains over 90 percent. (Zimbabwe Weekly Summary,

February 8)

 

3. (SBU) Parliamentary speaker Max Sisulu led a parliamentarian

delegation to Iran as part of enhancing bilateral relations between

the two parliaments. Both South Africa and Iran are members of the

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). The South African delegation

consisted of Ms. M. Oliphant, house chair of international

Qconsisted of Ms. M. Oliphant, house chair of international

relations, and members of parliament, former Western Cape Premier

Ebrahim Rasool, as well as supporting staff. (Parliament, February

8)

 

GIPS

 

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