Safari invaders kidnap hunter, police summon victim

via Safari invaders kidnap hunter, police summon victim | The Zimbabwean 28.04.14

People claiming to be war veterans and Zanu (PF) supporters who invaded a Beitbridge safari site late last year on Sunday reportedly kidnapped a non-trophy hunter, amid concerns that the police are reluctant to act against the kidnappers.

Instead, the police are reported to have opted to charge the Beitbridge-based hunter and owner of Super Spar located in the border town, Rudolph van de Merwe, for illegal hunting, it has emerged.

According to Ian Ferguson, one of the owners of Manage Safaris where the incident took place, the invaders barricaded the road as Van de Merwe left the safari with his trophy and held him hostage for five hours yesterday.

The police attended the scene, said Ferguson, but did not arrest the kidnappers; instead, they indicated that they would summon the hunter-cum-businessman to Beitbridge for questioning at a police station in the resort town.

Van de Merwe is being legally represented by Winston Tshakalisa.

“The police told my client that they will summon us to the police station in due course and we are waiting. They have not indicated what charge they intend to lay against my client,” said Tshakalisa.

The invaders forcefully took over the 18,000 hectare safari in October last year, arguing they were given offer letters by the lands ministry in 2004.

However, available documents show that the Supreme Court in 2010 ruled that Ferguson and his partners were the rightful owners of the safari.

“We went to court to contest the offer letters through the High Court and then the Supreme Court and won. The invaders only came in last year after noticing that hunting and safari business that attracted international tourists had resumed,” Ferguson told The Zimbabwean.

He said the invaders confiscated property and staffers personal belongings when they moved in but no arrests have been made, even though the court orders interdicted the police to remove the invaders, and “the safaris now look like a cattle pen”.

Government ordered several years ago that there would be no more land invasions which had started in 2000.

A senior National Parks and Wildlife Authority official accused the police of undue interference in the matter. “Despite the court order, the police in Beitbridge are now interfering by offering legal advice to the invaders. The invaders still insist that their offer letters have not been cancelled, yet it is clear that the final court has ruled against them.

“How can the police be advocates of people who are in contempt of a court order? They are, therefore, also acting criminally. As Parks, we are concerned that these invaders are decimating animals,” said the official who declined to be named.

He acknowledged that, since 2013, National Parks has been granting hunting licences to interested people on the safari estate on the strength of the Supreme Court judgement.

The Officer Commanding District for Beitbridge, one Chief Superintendent Majuta, was named by eye witnesses as one of the officers fighting from the invaders’ camp, despite his seniors having ordered him to eject them from the safari.

“Majuta is the one who is advising the invaders to stay put. We don’t know what his interest in the whole thing is, but he is giving the police a very bad name,” said one of the witnesses.

Majuta, when contacted, told this reporter off. “I don’t want to be bothered with that matter. I am not authorised to speak to the media, after all,” he claimed.




  • comment-avatar
    Doris 9 years ago

    Getting a backhand is he? Good name though, “Majuta!!”

  • comment-avatar

    Maybe the Police and the War Vets are one and the same?

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 9 years ago

    Refer this to a previous article concerning Min of Finance Chinamasa!!!! Could these actions be the reason you not getting your bail out Chino????

    • comment-avatar

      Someone needs to shove this report under chinamsa’s nose and all those who dissent on this forum. Zim will never come right under these circumstances.

      • comment-avatar
        apolitical 9 years ago

        The so called hunter had no hunters licence and is therefore a poacher and anyone can then make a citizens arrest – easy to understand! You may not like it but obviously those are the facts, of course its hard to twist truth into anti-government t propaganda and get away with it, but keep trying you are making a lousy job of it!

  • comment-avatar
    The Mind Boggles 9 years ago

    Go for it I truly find it amusing , turn all your wildlife heritage into sadza snakes it’s what you deserve

  • comment-avatar
    anonamous 9 years ago

    Honorable Mr President R. Mugabe

    I hope you read this letter before you leave. I am a child of a white farmer who you kicked off his land because your negotiations failed with Britain and America. I am a son of Zimbabwe regardless of the color of my skin and no man weather he be white or black, American British or Zimbabwean can change that. I am writing to you to beg you to do one more thing before you leave.

    Please Honorable Mr President R. Mugabe can you reunite Zimbabwe. Weather you see it or not Zimbabwe is divided not just in race but in views, principals and in the way forward and this division is causing strife and conflict. It is dividing our country and you also know that a house divided is a house fallen.

    Please Sir just end this mayhem so that those new owners of land may now have title, and those who wish to compensate the White farmers can do so. Lets say it is over now and let those of us whites remaining work for our country and our provinces and our districts and our community in farming and other business. Let us become part of the solution and not the problem. By all means hold us accountable for our actions but I beg you to stop oppressing our race and lets show the international community that we can work together and be fair to one another so we can win favor and receive investment.

    I wish you could see us whites for the asset we are capable to be to the country and not the demon you perceive us to be. I know bad things were done in the past and I assure you that the white man has paid for his sins more than once but do we still have to pay or can we now stand united as fellow Zimbabweans and work together. Do you wish to step out in the face of strife or reconciliation?

    I know there are still bad white and bad black people in this country but that will never change. The problem is that you can never eradicate the bad by oppressing the entire race the only way forward is for us to work together to make all of Zimbabwe a better place, to make all of Zimbabweans better people through accountability and example. Oppression is not the way forward.

    I am a Christian… and I know you speak of and from the bible too. I pray though that if you have not already that you come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior soon. He is my inspiration in writing this letter. He is my everything and I wish to honor him in all that I do. I am accountable to Him and he is all seeing. Nothing is a better inspiration to do what is right than God Himself as He is the answer to the meaning of life and His instructions are clear in His Word.

    Your decision in this time will set the tone for the future for yourself and this country – I urge you to think wisely and for the benefit of us all. For the benefit of all Zimbabweans.

    Kind Regards
    a child of Zimbabwe.