My kindred are involved in the land seizures in Zimbabwe that are being compared to South Africa, that Trump Rapture Rat has gotten involved in.
Zimbabwe is in breach of two arbitral awards totalling USD 240 million, after it missed a deadline to pay investors whose land was seized as part of the government’s racially motivated land reforms.
Zimbabwe has failed to pay arbitral awards worth nearly USD 240 million to a family of Swiss-German investors whose land was seized by settlers and the government on racial grounds.
The von Pezold family and their company Border Timbers won twin awards against the Zimbabwean government at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in July 2015, worth USD 230 million in damages and interest, GBP 8 million (USD 10.7 million) in legal fees and ZAR 705,000 (USD 53,000) in experts’ fees.
The government has spent the subsequent two years trying to have the award annulled by an ICSID panel, a fight that will not be decided until the middle of 2018. In the meantime, it has missed a 23 August deadline to pay the awards, with the claimants now entitled to seek enforcement, although there is no word on whether they will attempt to do so between now and the annulment hearings in April next year.
In the early 2000s, against the backdrop of President Robert Mugabe’s land reforms, settlers invaded farmland owned by the von Pezolds and Border Timbers, and in 2005, the government took ownership of a large part of the land.
Border Timbers, Timber Products International, and Hangani Development v Zimbabwe was filed at ICSID, the World Bank’s dispute resolution body, in July 2010 under the 1996 bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between Zimbabwe and Switzerland, while Bernhard von Pezold v Zimbabwe was filed in December that year by Adam von Pezold, Anna Webber, Elisabeth von Pezold, Felix von Pezold, Heinrich von Pezold, Johann von Pezold and Maria Batthyàny under the Swiss BIT and the 1995 Zimbabwe-Germany BIT.
All parties agreed that the two cases would be heard as one, but that there would be separate awards.
“They had wanted 200m rand (£16.7m) for the land, but the government were only willing to offer them just a tenth of that at 200m rand (£1.67m).
Alexander C. R. Hammond is a researcher at HumanProgress.org, a project by US libertarian think tank The Cato Institute, and raged that South Africa is in danger of going down the same path as Zimbabwe did in 2000.
Then-dictator Robert Mugabe began chaotic land seizures of 23m acres from white owned farms that led to riots, the killings of farmers, famine and economic collapse, which saw the daily inflation rate average hit 98 percent at its peak in 2008 and cost the crisis-hit country $20bn.
Writing for US international affairs magazine The National Interest, Mr Hammond said: “South Africa is beginning to head down the same path toward social and economic disaster that its northern neighbour Zimbabwe took eighteen years ago.
Here is my kin.
Elisabeth von Pezold wants the return of property expropriated by the Czechoslovak state in 1947.
However, her adopted brother, Karel Schwarzenberg, the Czech Republic’s foreign minister, apparently does not.
The homes include the Cesky Krumlov castle, a jewel in the crown of Czech tourism which towers over an ancient town in southern Bohemia.
But Mrs von Pezold claims that her brother, one of the republic’s most popular politicians, has blocked her case.
She argues that the Prince of Schwarzenberg, to use his formal title, has failed to fulfil the wishes of their father, whose will asked that his successor should fight to get the property back.
Law360, New York (February 11, 2016, 6:59 PM EST) — A Swiss-German family whose farms and forest holdings were seized by Zimbabweans during the government’s “land reform” of the 2000s is owed at least $130 million and perhaps…
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