Posted by: africanpressorganization | 2 July 2010

South African wrongfully arrested in Zim / South African government ignores pleas for help





South African wrongfully arrested in Zim / South African government ignores pleas for help


PRETORIA, South Africa, July 2, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — AfriForum has announced that a South African farming in Zimbabwe, Mike Odendaal, was wrongfully arrested by the Zimbabwean police this morning on grounds that he is living on his farm, Wolvedraai, “illegally”.  According to AfriForum, this arrest took place despite the fact that Odendaal was granted a court order by the Zimbabwean High Court on 26 June 2010, in terms of which he and his family could stay on on this farm while farm settlers had to be removed from it.


According to Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, these events are especially distressing because Odendaal had been appealing to the South African embassy in Zimbabwe for urgent assistance for the past three weeks to no avail.  “It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth when one sees that the South African government turns its back on its own citizens who are subject to human rights violations in Zimbabwe, while the same South African government at the same time rolls out the red carpet for Robert Mugabe at the Soccer World Cup Tournament,” Kriel said.  Kriel is of the opinion that Mugabe rather deserves a red card than a red carpet.


Kriel indicated that the South African government’s neglect to assist Odendaal, serves as further motivation for AfriForum to hold the South African government to account in court soon, because of the latter’s failure to protect the lives and property of South Africans in Zimbabwe.  AfriForum’s senior legal team is currently preparing court documents to ask the High Court to order the South African government to indicate which steps will be taken to intercede on behalf of South Africans in Zimbabwe.


Several South African citizens who are farming in Zimbabwe, according to Kriel have been targeted with intensified onslaughts by land grabbers.  In terms of the settlement reached between AfriForum and the South African government re the BIPPA agreement, formalised as a court order in November 2009 by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, the South African government undertook to maintain the rights and remedies of South African victims of Zimbabwe’s illegal land redistribution programme.  In terms of the affidavits of the Minister, made for the court case, as well as the subsequent court order, the South Africans have a right to protection as defined by this investment and trade agreement.





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