via Cecil saga: Facilitator ropes in advocate | The Herald August 6, 2015
Professional hunter, Theodro Bronkhorst, who allegedly facilitated the killing of iconic lion, Cecil, has roped in an advocate into his defence team after his lawyer, Givemore Muvhiringi, yesterday indicated to the court that the matter was “complex”.
Bronkhorst is appearing before the Hwange courts facing a charge of failing to prevent an illegal hunt in early July that resulted in the killing of Cecil by American dentist, Walter Palmer.
Muvhiringi of Dube and Company law firm said he had engaged Advocate Perpetual Dube of the Advocate Chambers in Bulawayo because of the complexity of the case.
He told magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa that he had briefed Adv Dube, but she could not attend court yesterday as she was tied up at the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court.
Muvhiringi said this as he made an application for postponement of trial to September, 28.
“I am instructed to bring an advocate into this matter. I have since briefed Adv Perpetual Dube of Bulawayo who has indicated that she is not available for the start of trial until September 28,” he said.
“She has prior commitments at the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court hence our prayer that the matter be remanded to September 28 to enable the defence to prepare for trial”.
The magistrate postponed trial to September 28 although the prosecutor, Namatirai Ngwasha, had opposed the application.
Quizzed outside the courtroom on why he needed an Advocate, Muvhiringi said it was because of the complexity of the case.
Bronkhorst, 52, of Riverside suburb in Bulawayo, said he felt sorry for Palmer, who allegedly killed the Big Cat on July 2 in the Gwayi area.
He told hordes of international journalists who converged on Hwange that the case was “frivolous”.
The hunter is being charged with failing to prevent an illegal hunt that resulted in the slaying of the protected collared lion. Cecil had a GPS tracker on his neck as he was being monitored by researchers at Oxford University in the UK.
It is alleged that Palmer paid about $50 000 to kill the lion to Bronkhorst and his associates who include the owner of Antoinette Farm, Trymore Honest Ndlovu, on which the hunt took place.
Ndlovu is yet to appear in court as prosecutors are battling to come up with an “appropriate charge.”
It is alleged that Palmer used a bow and arrow to shoot Cecil and finished him off 40 hours later, after luring him out of his protected area with another animal’s carcass.
Bronkhorst, who owns Bushmen Safaris, is out of custody on $1 000 bail. He was ordered to report three times a week at Hillside Police Station in Bulawayo as part of his bail conditions.
Appearing before a different magistrate at the same court in Hwange, is another safari farm operator, Headman Sibanda, 55, also from Bulawayo.
Sibanda is charged with permitting a person who is not a resident of Zimbabwe to hunt on any land.
This was after Sibanda, who owns Railway Farm 31 in Gwayi where another lion was killed, allegedly connived with yet another American hunter, Jan Casmir Sieski, to kill a lion.
Prosecutors said the illegal hunt was carried out between June 22 and July 2 this year.
Sibanda, a professional hunter who is also director of Nyala Safaris, also faces an alternative charge of failing to prevent an illegal hunt.