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USA Sued In South African High Court Over Zimbabwe Sanctions

USA Sued In South African High Court Over Zimbabwe Sanctions

The Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Movement (ZASM) on Friday filed papers in the Gauteng High Court asking it to declare US sanctions against Zimbabwe unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid.

If successful, the case could see the beginnings of normalised financial relations with South Africa’s northern neighbour. South African and international banks are reluctant to deal with Zimbabwe, even in cases where this is not explicitly prohibited, for fear of incurring heavy penalties from the US.

Among those cited as respondents are the US President, President of the US Senate, Speaker of the House, Treasury Secretary and several US and South African banking groups. The US banks cited in the case are Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo. Also cited are South African banks Absa, Standard Bank and FirstRand.

The ZASM court application says sanctions applied by the US on Zimbabwe prejudices ordinary Zimbabweans by denying the country access to international credit markets, and by cutting off international aid and donor assistance. South African banks such as FirstRand, Standard Bank and Absa are afraid to conduct business with Zimbabwe due to the risk of incurring civil and criminal penalties. Rutendo Matinyarare, director of ZASM said in the court application:

South African financial service providers, as a result of the United States sanctions on Zimbabwe, have deprived Zimbabwean nationals and companies with money (property) due to them, and withheld financial services, in order to comply with the unilateral economic sanctions imposed by the United States.

The ZASM quotes Zimbabwe’s richest businessman, Strive Masiyiwa, pointing out the perverse effects of sanctions on ordinary Zimbabweans. When presented with initiatives that could create tens of thousands of jobs, foreign investors and banks say they are afraid of violating sanctions and incurring massive penalties.

US sanctions were introduced in 2001 under the Zimbabwe Democracy and Recovery Act (ZIDERA) with the purpose of restoring order in the country after state-sanctioned land invasions and human rights abuses.

The US restricts Zimbabwe’s access to international financial markets pending compliance with a range of electoral and human rights reforms, including the establishment of a biometric voters’ roll in both digital and paper formats, allowing opposition parties full access to state media, as well as a full accounting of diamond revenues since 2000.

The law also requires Zimbabwe to embark on a process of national reconciliation and to compensate victims of human rights abuses.

A 2019 report by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade detailed the impact of these sanctions on the local economy, saying the restrictions suffocated Zimbabwe’s ability to meet its international financial obligations, while denying the country critical balance of payments support (BOP).

Zimbabwean importers are forced to pay cash upfront, loan inflows to Zimbabwean companies have dropped, and the country’s agricultural output has fallen due to an inability to import farming equipment.

More: Moneyweb

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31 Comments

D1vant 5 months ago

The true & hard impact of sanctions the average, polarised & 'educated Zimbabwean can't seem to grasp. We are essentially held on the neck against the wall by the Unilateral Sanctions of US. I can't even believe the us has a condition that we account for what we mined in our own soil imagine, the grandstanding..... Shocking 🤔🙃


🚩 5 months ago

Candid truth....Zanu pf is the sanction that Zimbabwe is experiencing right now. As Citizens the onus is upon us to vote resoundingly against sanctions. Vote Zanu Pf out. 🖕

Sour🍇s 5 months ago

Why didn't they file those papers in Washington DC? It is just hopelessly hopeless...years back some people signed similar anti-sanctions petitions which did not see the light of the day.


... 5 months ago

understood, however filing the petition in South Africa is half done, they have to hold the bull by its horns. South Africa would not just risk playing saviour to an irresponsible member state who does not want to reform.

Pala 5 months ago

Read the story and understand

King 5 months ago

Even I will not give my money to some1 who is a notorious defaulter.


King 5 months ago

Even I will not give my money to some1 who is a notorious defaulter.


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Chapwititi Kestombela 5 months ago

I don't want to delve much into the technicalities of these TARGETED SACTIONS. Let me just put it in plain language for a laymen.

These sanctions were imposed like a jail term to an offender. People died in 2008 and years that followed due to dirty politics at the instigation of some individuals. Those "long sleeve and short sleeve days" whilst others perished due to being forced to drink that herbicide called PARAQUAT. This is what caused the TARGETED SACTIONS. It's not the whole country that got those SACTIONS but individuals and some companies that aided those attrocities. Now those individuals want to access their money in offshore accounts so they are singing hard the sanctions mantra to the populace. Zimbabwean companies that are on these sanctions are wholly controlled by the very same individuals on sanctions. NDIKUNZWEI FUTI MUCHITI HEEE SANCTIONS


Purse 5 months ago

Point 👌👌👌👌

Chapwititi Kestombela 5 months ago

I don't want to delve much into the technicalities of these TARGETED SACTIONS. Let me just put it in plain language for a laymen.

These sanctions were imposed like a jail term to an offender. People died in 2008 and years that followed due to dirty politics at the instigation of some individuals. Those "long sleeve and short sleeve days" whilst others perished due to being forced to drink that herbicide called PARAQUAT. This is what caused the TARGETED SACTIONS. It's not the whole country that got those SACTIONS but individuals and some companies that aided those attrocities. Now those individuals want to access their money in offshore accounts so they are singing hard the sanctions mantra to the populace. Zimbabwean companies that are on these sanctions are wholly controlled by the very same individuals on sanctions. NDIKUNZWEI FUTI MUCHITI HEEE SANCTIONS


Vote 5 months ago

@v you are right. I tried to sign up for some services but l couldn't. They say Zimbabwe is under sanctions. These sanctions are affecting heavily the very same vulnerable citizens they were meant to protect.

V 5 months ago

Taura zvaunoziva mupfana iwe

Targetes what what, My company could not get services from Clickup a US based company because of these sanctions. Kana musiri kumafeeler it doesn't mean they are targetes shaz. Here I am just a nobody zvang asi they affect me.

ziSuper reBlue 5 months ago

@Chapwititi Kestombela, well said, u r on point 👉...bt kuzonyora muraba raba mhani


5 months ago


factos 5 months ago

Vote Sanctions out (Zanu pf)


factos 5 months ago

Vote Sanctions out (Zanu pf)


factos 5 months ago

Vote Sanctions out (Zanu pf)


Homo Erectus 5 months ago

Dream on. What a load of crap.


Homo Erectus 5 months ago

Dream on. What a load of crap.


Vybz Kartel 5 months ago

we need more people like you


Makelanwi 5 months ago

Why file your case in South African courts? I smelt a rat.They is a hidden hand,the ZANY Government might be funding this application.Desparado indeed.


Dominic Chinenge 5 months ago

No wonder Zimbabweans are no longer wanted in South Africa. Zimbabweans & their full of I Know attitude want to provoke the USA & mess up diplomatic relations by using the SA High Court. Why can't Zimbabweans use their own Harare High Court? Zimbabweans go to SA to enjoy all the rights they cannot enjoy in Zimbabwe including an impartial judiciary. In any case, the case is dead already. The SA High court does not have international jurisdiction & has no jurisdiction whatsoever over the territory of the USA or the decisions of the USA government. International disputes are settled in international courts or at the UN. The sanctions are targeted and there is a list of individuals and companies on the list. Only such targeted individuals & companies have the locus standi as aggrieved parties to lodge legal procedings against the targeted sanctions in international courts. A simple question would be, how are the sanctions affecting you if you are not the target?. The sanctions are legal because the USA used its own laws to impose them & not international law. Let me conclude by saying: "Ghod Bress Pumura. Owd Pumura. Ghod Bress Bhuruwayo."


Gwereveshe 5 months ago

Well said @ Chinenge, Zimbabwe is like a failed man who beg a neighbour to come and pregnant his wife.

Senior Citizen 5 months ago

😹😹😹 madness on its own to sue the US Government no a South African court ,they should have filed their motion in a US court,that would make sense ....ndibatsirewo izvii zvinoshanda here maybe ndikutadza kuzia Law.


Senior Citizen 5 months ago

* on a South African court*

S 5 months ago

Hatidi ma Sanctions mu Zimbabwe. So ZANU PF are the Sanctions, so vote it Out. Ngazviende Svi ZANU nema SANCTIONS azvo


booster jab 5 months ago

To cut the long story short,for sanctions to be removed govt should reform and uphold democratic rights for its citizens or simply we vote the current govt out.we wont here of any sanction story again,simple!


The Economist 5 months ago

Every content of the application is mythical and a lie. Firstly, the sanctions by the US are not unilateral. They are as a result of Zimbabwe's own omissions and commissions and in line with basic elementary law & the Cortnea agreement, they have been imposed.

Second, Zimbabwe's current account is healthy which means the BOP is in a very active status.

Finally, despite the ability of Zimbabwe to break even, that is to earn massive revenues, corruption and racketeering have to a greater extent led to economic turmoil.

The falasy that sanctions have .... is a big lie. The real problem is the under the desk deals. Isn't it shocking that a whole Finance Minister will tell the nation that he is yet to discover the exchange rate 😂😂


Shadows 5 months ago

Be they targeted or not, hatidi masanctions plz.unotoshamisika chimwe chigure Che ccc chichiti tipeiwo masanctions. Zasm pamberi nemi.


VaZhou 5 months ago

Sanctions or no sanctions have no effect to a government run by pple who know what they do.

The Rhodesian Gvt was under British sanctions then but we never felt any difference


fide hobe 4 months ago

when a door is shut in yo face look for another kkkkkk



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