Sleeping Like a Hare Millions Billions Trillions    
African Tears Beyond Tears Innocent Victims Imire Can you hear the drums, by Cathy Buckle

Purple splats
September 22, 2012, 7:59 am


Dear Family and Friends,

In the eerie glow thrown by a thin orange crescent of the setting  moon, sausage flies and flying ants filled the evening sky this week. The orange moon sinking into a dark, dusty horizon along with the sudden reappearance of gossamer-winged insects  is a sure sign that summer has arrived.  Clouds are starting to build up, Jacarandas are turning purple and wherever there’s a mulberry tree the ground is carpeted in fallen fruits and purple bird droppings. First thing in the morning you can track the flight path of the fruit bats, the purple splats spread far and wide from the bountiful fruit trees. Irresistibly you are drawn to the Mulberry tree and it is impossible to resist feasting straight from the tree,  paying the price later with purple fingers and feet. Purple is the colour of early summer and this year it has brought both bad news and good news for Zimbabwe.

The bad news came in the form of a half page newspaper report headlined ‘A.G. wants tough action against white farmers.’ Despite the fact that only an estimated three hundred commercial farmers are still on their properties and that the government has seized 95% of the country’s farms without compensation in the last twelve years, the Attorney General isn’t happy. A.G. Tomana says the remaining white Zimbabwean farmers are clogging courts around the country with what he calls ‘frivolous appeals.’ Tomana says that the penalty for white farmers refusing to vacate land the government has gazetted for compulsory acquisition is two years imprisonment. ‘Prosecution should have been the easiest way to deal with the issue,’ Tomana said. ‘It is strange that people continue to violate and break the law in open day and nothing is done,’ the Attorney General said, bemoaning the reluctance of officials to enforce the law. While talking about an absence of law enforcement , it was sad that the Attorney General said nothing about the thousands of perpetrators of crimes in the last twelve years who still walk freely amongst us. Their crimes, ranging from arson and rape to torture and murder were committed under the guise of  ‘political violence’ and their victims have waited for over a decade but still  justice hasn’t been done.

Later in the week, good news came from the South African Supreme Court of Appeal. Nearly four years after the SADC Tribunal ruled that Zimbabwe’s land reform processes were racist and that farmers ought to have been compensated for their farms, the South African Supreme Court of Appeal upheld that ruling. A press release from the SADC Tribunal Watch said: ‘Despite the Zimbabwe government’s claims to the contrary, the Supreme Court of Appeal confirmed in its judgment that, according to the SADC Treaty, the decisions of the Tribunal were final and binding.’ The Court dismissed the appeal made by the Zimbabwe government against the attachment of Zimbabwe government-owned property in Cape Town whose sale will be used to pay legal costs.

Zanu PF’s Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa said: “After this judgment, which is legal, we should let it go and we speak to the ANC [African National Congress] and take a political decision. I hope that is possible.”

A legal ruling overturned by politics is something we’ve become familiar with in Zimbabwe, but in South Africa?

We are watching, holding our breath; do we dare to hope?

Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy.

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