PRETORIA – The Pretoria High Court has declared former president Jacob Zuma’s participation in the suspension of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal in 2012 unlawful, irrational and unconstitutional.
The Tribunal was inaugurated in 2005 as a judicial body to resolve disputes between southern African states and between states and their citizens.
In 2011, SADC leaders, including Zuma suspended the tribunal and later removed the court’s jurisdiction for individuals in 2014.
AfriForum, the Law Society and others argued that there was no legitimate government objective in Zuma’s action.
AfriForum’s legal representative, Willies Spies says, “South African government and the leadership of Jacob Zuma took part in a process to dismantle and dis-establish the SADC Tribunal, a regional Human Rights Court that was established to uphold the rule of law and to promote human rights in the southern African region.”
“What we did was to join the Law Society in its application to have his actions declared unlawful, which is what the court did today. The court ruled that the participation of the SA government and president Zuma in particular amounts to unlawful and unconstitutional conduct,” adds Spies.