This article applies victimology and human rights theories to examine the moral and legal basis of the contest for 'labels' that accompanies land disputes. It seeks to discover and evaluate the significance of the dynamics of this contest and their probable impact on the resolution of land disputes. More importantly, it seeks to determine the value of this contest to any strategy that consciously may be preferred to resolve land disputes. It argues that conceptions of victimology that do not incorporate in their analyses the mischief sought to be cured in land disputes are not particularly helpful in the effort to discover efficient models for the resolution of land disputes. It dispels the view that monopolisation of disputes that are inherently human rights in their nature is imperative for resolution of apparently 'local problems' and recommends protection of the inherent dignity of all stakeholders in land disputes as the primary basis for resolution of land disputes.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a sub-regional international organisation comprised of 15 transitional States that have embraced the principle of the rule of law as a basic norm of their constitutional arrangements. Their biggest challenge presently is to undo the provocative and salient legacy of social, economic and psychological apartheid on their territories for almost a century, without disrupting their developmental endeavours. This article examines the question of what role if any the SADC Tribunal envisaged under Article 9 of the constitutive SADC Treaty might play to facilitate successful transitions from apartheid to egalitarian rule. It shows that a multiplicity of dialectics abound that do not allow for easy answers, much to the frustration of both the cultural relativists and their rivals, the universalists, regarding human rights protection. The article recommends meaningful pedagogical engagement of the challenges confronting the SADC sub-region as a direct consequence of almost a century of apartheid – the worst form of governance known to man in recent times. This should inform national, sub-regional and regional dynamics in the pursuit of SADC goals and aspirations. SADC Human Rights Courts and Tribunals are encouraged to develop a “due-account jurisprudence” that is congruous with the transitional requirements of their societies just as the German Federal Constitutional Court had done in the aftermath of the fall of the Reich, and also after the re-unification of Germany.