Iam happy to report that on Monday 28 November 2022 Ms Estelle Shkaidy, the Chief Administration Clerk at the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation, sent correspondence to the Zimbabwe Anti Sanctions Movement (ZASM) confirming that the South African Embassy in Washington shall facilitate the necessary process in the case against the United States government where we challenge the implementation of US sanctions against Zimbabwe within South African jurisdiction. The case is important because South Africa is Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner, and the application of US sanctions against Zimbabwe by South African banks negatively affects the Zimbabwean and regional economy.
The communication from the Department of International Relations comes one week to the day of when President Ramaphoza asked Prime Minister Sunak to relax or remove sanctions on Zimbabwe. The timing of the correspondence is profound, considering we have not heard from them in a while. Without being drawn to speculate, I am happy that the South African Embassy in Washington will provide the service.
The next step shall be filing supplementary papers, to inform the Court on where we are with the United States government, and then reply to the South African banks who are defending the implementation of unilateral coercive US sanctions on Zimbabwe, and it’s citizens.
The sentiment against US sanctions increases daily. SADC and the AU have denounced sanctions. The Zimbabwean opposition have reversed their support for sanctions, and now call for their removal. The European Union have recently signed financial agreements with the Zimbabwean government, which is a symbolic sign of the curtailment of their restrictions on Zimbabwe. The United Nations, in their report on Zimbabwean sanctions, condemned the embargo on our country.
The prevailing sentiment of the international community is that sanctions on Zimbabwe are unproductive, unlawful, and not in the interests of stability in a rules based international order.
Advocate Simba Chitando is an Advocate of the South African High Court, and the lead counsel for the Zimbabwean Anti Sanctions Movement