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Force the SADC Tribunal back

Former Zimbabwe farmers, Ben Freeth (left) and Luke Tembani, have now scored a major legal victory in the battle to get the SADC Tribunal re-instated.

Former Zimbabwe farmers, Ben Freeth (left) and Luke Tembani, have now scored a major legal victory in the battle to get the SADC Tribunal re-instated.

Two important developments have taken place in the legal campaign to ensure that Zimbabwe is unable to escape its international law obligations arising from its violent landgrab campaign.
In the last week of June, the South African Consitutional Court dismissed Zimbabwe’s appeal against South African court orders authorising the attachment of Zimbabwean Government property in execution of awards by the SADC Tribunal. Chief Justice Mogoeng held: “Lawful judgements are not to be evaded with impunity by any State or person in the global village.”
The Constitutional Court held that South Africa, like Zimbabwe itself, was bound to give effect to awards of the Tribunal.  It noted that Zimbabwean farmers had lost their land without compensation pursuant to an “agrarian reform programme”.  It held that the Tribunal’s jurisdiction was founded on the rule of law, and that the aggrieved farmers had proper recourse to the Tribunal’s protection.
The second development is that South Africa, as a SADC member State, has formally conveyed to the African Commission in The Gambia that it will not be advancing argument on the merits of the case brought by the Zimbabwean farmers before the Commission.  The farmers had lodged a challenge to the decision by SADC members to suspend the Tribunal’s operation following its series of awards against Zimbabwe.
The application asked for an order that would ensure the SADC Tribunal would continue to function, as established by Article 16 of the SADC Treaty.
The application was filed on behalf of Luke Tembani, a dispossessed Zimbabwean commercial farmer, and Ben Freeth, son-in-law of the late Mike Campbell of Mount Carmel farm in Zimbabwe, against the fourteen SADC governments.
The applicants submitted that closing the SADC Tribunal to individual access deprived 250 million inhabitants of SADC countries of access to the only international law court in the region when justice systems have failed them in their own countries. The effect of the closure is to prevent the Tribunal from hearing cases where governments had committed human rights violations and domestic law has offered no relief.
“I am calling for Africans and the world to raise their voices so that younger Africans in the future may be protected from the injustices that continue to take place without recourse. It’s time that those who care about the poverty and hunger in Africa speak out for justice and the rule of law so that Africa’s potential can be unlocked and its people can thrive,” Tembani commented.

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.