Police accused of refusing to evict game farm invaders

via Police accused of refusing to evict game farm invaders | SW Radio Africa by Mthulisi Mathuthu November 1, 2013

Police in Beitbridge were this week facing accusations of ignoring a Court order to evict ZANU PF linked invaders from a South African owned game farm.

SW Radio Africa reported a fortnight ago that a horde of ZANU PF supporters led by war vets who included Steven Mohadi (the younger brother of ZANU PF minister Kembo Mohadi) had invaded the farm.

On Friday owner of Denlynian Farm, Ian Ferguson, told SW Radio Africa that the invaders have ‘virtually’ taken over and more invaders are still being transported into the farm.

Ahead of the takeover there were reports of invaders assaulting workers and families and harassing four Polish hunters who were at the game farm for trophy hunting. There were also reports of poaching and theft of meat, elephant skin, mattresses and hides, among other things.

But according to Ferguson the police are refusing to accompany the deputy sheriff of the High Court to evict the invaders. As a result, Ferguson said, the local sheriff was afraid to implement the court order without the police support.

Ferguson said the police are justifying their action on section 291 of the constitution which “apparently states that anyone occupying land at the inception of the new constitution must not be evicted.”

On top of that the police have also ordered the Fergusons that they must not return to the game farm because they were occupying it ‘illegally’. Ferguson described that as ‘ridiculous’ because he bought the farm 30 years ago.

Describing the whole drama as a ‘political’ incident, Ferguson said he had appealed to the sheriffs in Bulawayo and Harare and will know on Monday next week if either of the two will be able to intervene.

Denlynian Farm is not new to chaos. Three years ago war vets led another gang of invaders who pillaged the farm, slaughtering many animals in the process.  Peace returned to the farm after Ferguson had secured a court order.

The latest invasion of the game farm follows recent claims by deputy minister Samuel Undenge that no South African citizen had lost their farm to land grab. At the time Undenge made the claims, he was described a ‘blatant liar’.

According to estimates about 500 South Africans have lost their properties to Zimbabwe’s violent land seizures.