A South African court says a Zimbabwean government property in Cape Town can be auctioned to compensate three evicted white farmers in Zimbabwe for legal fees.

Willie Spies, a lawyer for white conservative group Afriforum, called the decision a "symbolic victory" for white Zimbabwean farmers.

The court ordered Monday that one of the Zimbabwean government's Cape Town houses no longer had diplomatic protection because it was being commercially rented. Three evicted farmers and a German bank to which Zimbabwe owes more than 40 million euros ($55 million) will share the revenue from the auction.

A Southern African Development Community tribunal ruled in November 2008 that Zimbabwe's land reform process was illegal and racist and ordered compensation for evicted farmers.