SADC

Lesotho amnesty deal unconstitutional – apex court

Relatives of people murdered allegedly on the orders of prominent politicians in Lesotho have gone to court to challenge a new agreement brokered by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Under this agreement, all parties have been urged to join talks on the way forward for the country, and those now in exile out of fear of being charged with murder and other crimes, have been assured no action would be taken against them if they returned for the talks.

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When Lesotho’s squabbling political parties bound themselves to a talk-shop, what – if anything – were the legal implications of that agreement? This question has become crucial in Lesotho, and it is made more complex by the fact that the idea of serious negotiations comes from the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Since SADC’s involvement is hardly a secret, what standing does any agreement related to the negotiations have in international law?

UK court hands "Africa's last colony" an unexpected win

While two rival meetings were being held in Africa this week on the disputed future of Western Sahara, the territory – often referred to as Africa’s last colony – won an unexpected victory in court.

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At opposite ends of Africa, the disputed future of Western Sahara was a major issue this week. Way down, almost at the bottom of the continent, South Africa and Namibia jointly hosted a meeting of Southern African Development Community members. Among the guests was a delegation from Polisario, the organization that claims to represent the people of Western Sahara or, as it is sometimes called, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

SA’s Constitutional Court slates ex-President Jacob Zuma over protocol replacing SADC Tribunal with a toothless body

SA’s ex-president, Jacob Zuma, already in hot water with pending corruption charges and a court order that he must personally pay some of his massive legal costs, has again become the target of serious criticism from SA’s Constitutional Court. This time the country’s highest court was considering an application to set aside Zuma’s decision backing the dissolution of the SADC Tribunal, a crucial regional rights forum, based in Windhoek, Namibia.

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WHEN the SADC Tribunal, set up to protect the rights of everyone in the region, was summarily given the boot at the instance of Zimbabwe’s then president, Robert Mugabe, it came as a great shock to people in SA that the president at the time, Jacob Zuma, joined in the demolition party.

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