via Supreme Court strikes off Mugabe aide case – Southern Eye 4 August 2015 by Silas Nkala
THE Supreme Court yesterday struck off the roll an appeal by deputy secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Ray Ndhlukula challenging his ejection from a Matabeleland South farm.
Ndhlukula was ordered by the Bulawayo High Court to leave Centenary Farm owned by David Connolly, which he invaded last year.
He appealed to the Supreme Court, but yesterday judges Elizabeth Gwaunza, Anne-Mary Gowora and Susan Mavangira struck the case off the roll because of technicalities in the filing of papers.
Ndhlukula displaced 75 of Connolly’s workers who refused to work for him, rendering them destitute. Some of them had been at the farm since the 1960s.
Ndhlukula has ignored several court orders to vacate the farm. Instead the evicted farmer has been dragged to the courts for refusing to leave his property.
In March this year, Ndhlukula was sentenced to 90 days in prison for defying court orders.
He continues to claim ownership of the farm and refers to Connolly’s workers as squatters. He wants the Supreme Court to rule in his favour.
But Connolly and his workers insist that they deserve to remain on the farm and want Ndhlukula to be declared an illegal settler.
Connolly’s farm workers have joined their employer in challenging Ndhlukula’s controversial takeover of the property, in what has been described as a test case.
The farm workers last month took the man regarded as one of President Robert Mugabe’s top aides to court challenging their eviction.
Connolly submitted a claim for losses, including daily losses, from May until such time as the court orders in his favour to get farming again.
This was after Connolly on July 7 went to his farm to take photographs as proof of Ndhlukula’s continued contempt of court.
He found Ndhlukula’s tractors parked at his house, the priming pump on the irrigation equipment had been broken and Ndhlukula’s workers complained bitterly that they had hardly had a cup of water to drink.
Centenary Farm has a strong connection with ex-Zipra fighters who relied on it for food during the liberation war.
Last year Zipra Veterans’ Trust members demonstrated against Ndhlukula’s presence at the farm.
Ndhlukula allegedly owns two other farms — Vlakfontein Wilfried Hope (Subdivision 2 of Marula Block) and Wilfried Hope Farm, in the same district.