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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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No place for refugees fleeing African tyrants

      October 26 2002 at 07:07PM

By Charlene Smith

Legal bodies and human rights organisations have launched a major attack on
the department of home affairs for alleged contraventions of South Africa's
laws and international treaties for handling refugees.

Three key cases are under way and a plethora of new research by human rights
organisations will be launched within the next few weeks that shows abuses
ranging from corruption to beatings of refugees, and legal contraventions.

Organisations calling for urgent investigations into the system include the
Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights Committee, the Black Sash, Lawyers
for Human Rights, the Wits Law Clinic and the Legal Resources Centre, among
others. Leslie Mashokwe, a home affairs spokesperson, said the department
could not comment until the judiciary has made its rulings.

The legal actions and research, including an urgent application against the
minister of home affairs brought by the Wits Law Clinic late on Friday,

a.. Allegations of corruption, which some claim extends to senior personnel
in the department.

a.. The whipping and beating of refugees outside and within home affairs
offices. On Thursday officials at the Braamfontein refugee office in
Johannesburg allegedly beat approximately a thousand refugees with chains
and sjamboks. A woman whose leg was fractured had to be taken to hospital.

Abeda Bhamjee of the Wits Law Clinic says: "On several occasions we have
noted sjambokkings as a form of crowd control, including within home affairs
buildings. They also use tactics to limit access; for three weeks in
September and October they limited access because they said they had no
computer codes."

a.. Policies preventing refugees gaining the capacity to register, making
them permanent fugitives from the law.

      Home affairs has to accept Ncube's application on Monday
a.. Policies that render the most vulnerable refugees - those from countries
where they risk death or torture if they return - incapable of studying or
finding work for periods for longer than the six months allowed by law.

a.. Members of the South African National Defence Force picking up refugees
and depositing them back at the Zimbabwe border.

a.. Bhamjee says that during the Zimbabwean elections in March they had
reports of South African soldiers rounding up refugees and taking them back
to Zimbabwe where some were at risk of physical harm. "This is a
contravention of the South African Refugee Act, the United Nations
Convention against Torture, the African Union regulations regarding refugees
and UN provisions for refugees."

a.. People are being given non-computerised section 22 permits. If
computerised, they give a person 180 days before they can register, during
which time they cannot seek work or study. William Kerfoot of the Legal
Resources Centre in Cape Town says: "This pernicious practice sees them
saying to people after 180 days, that they have to wait a further 180 days
with the computerised permit". A case will be heard around this matter on
February 10 in the Cape high court.

Rejections of those seeking refugee status often seem based not on the
merits of a case, but on a list of refugee-producing and non-refugee
countries, and many rejection letters do not deal with the basis of the
claims, Professor Lee Anne de la Hunt of the Cape Town Legal Aid Clinic
claims. She cites the example of a male nurse from the Congo having his
application rejected. The identical text for his rejection letter was used
in all subsequent rejections to Congolese.

The Wits Law Clinic application on Friday was on behalf of Ernest Ncube, a
Zimbabwean, and former soldier who joined the Movement for Democratic Change
in January 2001. Since then his family has had to move towns three times to
escape alleged harassment from Zanu-PF supporters, youth militia and war
veterans, finally fleeing the country for South Africa.

He has queued at the home affairs refugee office from 5.30am on four
occasions since his arrival but has never once been seen. The office deals
with southern African refugees only once a week and takes no more than 20
applicants a time.

In her affidavit, Bhamjee says that in January she "became aware of the fact
that the department of home affairs was... refusing Zimbabweans the right to
apply for asylum".

Judge Jajbhay of the Johannesburg high court ruled that home affairs has to
accept Ncube's application on Monday. Wits Law Clinic will pursue an action
in the high court in February calling for all Zimbabweans to have this

Bhamjee says: "Zimbabwe is in a crisis and it's time home affairs
acknowledged that. Everyone should have access to administrative justice."

The department of home affairs said that 498 356 Zimbabweans entered South
Africa legally during 2001. An average of 50 000 Zimbabweans enter the
country legally per month. Many are informal traders who regularly move back
and forth.

Five Zimbabweans have been recognised as refugees in South Africa since
April 2000.

Bhamjee says she does not expect a huge influx of refugees into South
Africa, but South Africa currently only has provision for accommodating 20
000 refugees compared with countries such as Zambia and Botswana who on
occasion have housed 500 000 when neighbouring countries have been in

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NZ Herald

World can't cope with famine says UN

Global warming is helping to cause an unprecedented series of famines that
is pushing the world beyond its ability to cope, says the United Nations.

The warning - the starkest yet issued by the UN on how climate change is
affecting world food supplies - comes as a second massive famine looms in

The new head of the UN World Food Programme, James Morris, is to announce in
London that drought in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa is precipitating a
food shortage as great as the one now afflicting southern Africa.

Meanwhile, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation is predicting that
this year's total world harvest will fall for the fifth year in succession,
while the global population continues to grow. Food stocks are falling well
below critical levels and prices are soaring. The escalating crises will add
urgency to a new round of international negotiations on combating global
warming under way in New Delhi.

They will concentrate on what new measures should be taken beyond the Kyoto
Protocol, which is expected to enter into force over the next few months.

Morris will give details of how famine is returning to Ethiopia and
surrounding states. Nearly six million people in the country that became a
byword for hunger in the 1980s now need emergency food aid.

Another million people in Eritrea and three million in Sudan are in the same
position after rains failed there too.

There are also food shortages in Kenya and Somalia and the WFP reckons that,
in all, up to 14 million people face famine in the region - about the same
number as are afflicted in Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and other
southern African countries.

In some countries - such as Somalia and Zimbabwe - the crisis has been
greatly aggravated by conflict and government policies.

But the WFP says that the two famines are "essentially the result of
shifting weather patterns that in recent years have been wreaking havoc on a
global scale".

A spokesman said that "global warming is a major contributor" to the
changing weather.

He added: "There has been a sharp increase in weather-related natural
disasters. This is a very, very serious situation."

Scientists have long predicted that droughts and floods will increase as
global warming takes hold. According to the World Disasters Report,
published by the Red Cross, 2000 and 2001 were the two worst years on record
for disasters. Since then, more than 360 natural disasters have occurred in
the first nine months of this year. Drought has also struck from Australia
to Mongolia, Vietnam to Sri Lanka, West Africa to Thailand. Floods affected
more than 100 million people in China and more than 40 million in India, and
brought the worst inundations yet to Germany, Austria and the Czech

The WFP warns the crises are becoming so frequent that the world community
is "running out of the ability to cope".

Although emergency food aid almost tripled over the 1990s, it was not enough
to meet growing needs. This year the WFP had to suspend help to three
million women, children and elderly people in North Korea because it had run
out of resources.

"The global emergency relief system is overwhelmed," said the spokesman.

"I cannot recall when things were last as bad. The chickens are coming home
to roost."
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UK sports agent accused of selling military gear to African despot

Antony Barnett and Paul Harris investigate the network of companies run by a
man suspected of trading military supplies with Robert Mugabe

Sunday October 27, 2002
The Observer

John Bredenkamp's mansion lies at the end of a private road on the outskirts
of the Berkshire village of Sunningdale. It is a 'millionaire's row' of huge
houses and winding drives. Bredenkamp's home is one of the biggest.
The sprawling pile befits a man who is 33rd on Britain's rich list, higher
than Sir Paul McCartney. His £700 million personal fortune stems from a
business empire that includes top sports management agency Masters
International. The last year has been good for him. He was the 19th-fastest
riser on the rich list - just behind Richard Branson.

Masters looks after some of the biggest names in sport, such as cricketer
Graeme Hick and rugby internationals Ieuan Evans and Mike Catt. Past clients
include golfing legends Ernie Els and Nick Price.

But in the eyes of the United Nations, the millionaire mansion and high
brick walls hide a dirty secret. Bredenkamp was last week named by a UN
report as a key arms trader and a man who has made millions from illegally
exploiting the natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A UN
panel has now recommended imposing a travel ban on him and freezing his
personal assets.

It would be a devastating blow for Bredenkamp, a white Zimbabwean who was a
former star rugby captain of Rhodesia and has made his home in Britain.
Bredenkamp has jealously guarded the secrets of his business empire for
years, but last week a UN report described a network trading in weapons and
valuable minerals across the war-torn Congo. The trade has helped fuel a
conflict that has claimed up to three million lives and been called Africa's
'First World War'.

Bredenkamp was shown to enjoy close business links with senior members of
Zimbabwe's army and political elite. Washington has already barred him from
entry to the US, along with several senior Zimbabwean officials.

In May 2000 the British Government - increasingly outraged at President
Robert Mugabe's human rights violations and violence against white farmers -
imposed an arms embargo on Zimbabwe.

Bredenkamp - who voluntarily co-operated with the UN over the report - has
angrily rejected the conclusions that he has been involved in 'illegal
exploitation' of Congo's natural resources. He has written to the UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan protesting that much of the material in the
report is flawed and stating that he aims to contest vigorously his
inclusion on any sanctions list.

Whatever the final outcome, the weight of evidence obtained by the UN
suggests Bredenkamp faces a struggle to clear his name.

Just half a mile away from his house, Bredenkamp's business headquarters sit
on a corner of a busy road on Sunningdale's High Street. As with other
office blocks in the commuter belt, it is a non-descript redbrick building
hinting little at what goes on inside. But it is from here that Bredenkamp
runs his complex web of companies that reach out from the Home Counties to
Africa and beyond.

Britain's imposition of an arms embargo on Zimbabwe appeared not to dampen
Bredenkamp's enthusiasm to help prop up Mugabe's brutal regime. A year after
the embargo was passed, Bredenkamp boosted his ever-expanding fortune by
concluding a multimillion-pound contract to supply Mugabe's armed forces
with military equipment.

An invoice obtained by the UN and dated 6 July, 2001, reveals that one of
Bredenkamp's Zimbabwean companies, Raceview Enterprises, was supplying
Mugabe's air force with £2.3m of camouflage cloth, batteries, fuel, boots
and army rations. Most controversially, the UN says it has other documents
that prove Bredenkamp provided £2m of aircraft spares to the Zimbabwean air
force. While Bredenkamp is not a British citizen - he carries a Zimbabwean
and Dutch passport - the fact he uses Britain as a base for his business
activities will be an embarrassment for Ministers who vigorously fought for
European Union sanctions against Mugabe.

But potentially the most damaging revelations for the British Government are
claims by the UN that Bredenkamp benefits from a working relationship with
Britain's largest and most important defence contractor, BAE Systems
(formerly British Aerospace). The report discloses that Bredenkamp is an
investor in an African company called Aviation Consultancy Services. While
the firm's name sounds innocuous, it is in fact one of the most important
arms trading groups in Africa brokering deals between defence firms and

One of ACS's major clients is BAE Systems, and the UN claims Bredenkamp has
used his involvement with ACS to offer to broker sales of BAE military
equipment to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The report also claims that
BAE breached European Union sanctions by supplying spare parts for
Zimbabwean Hawk jets early in 2002.

Both BAE and Bredenkamp deny they have been involved in busting sanctions,
but The Observer has learnt that the House of Commons select committee on
arms exports is to launch an investigation into the UN allegations. It has
described the matter as 'of grave concern'. Opposition MPs have also tabled
parliamentary questions to the Government to explain the exact nature of the
relationship between BAE and Bredenkamp.

For Bredenkamp, the political and public spotlight on his business affairs
will be very uncomfortable, although it is not the first time Bredenkamp's
activities have caused outrage. He is alleged to have supplied arms to both
sides in the Iraq-Iran war of 1980 to 1988, something he has always denied.

Bredenkamp was born in South Africa in 1940, but moved north to Zimbabwe,
then called Rhodesia, as a child. He excelled at sport and captained his
school's rugby team. He later became close to the white Rhodesian regime of
Ian Smith as it battled black guerrilla movements. He was in charge of the
financial affairs of the Rhodesian army and is alleged to have been involved
in sanctions-busting for Smith in return for a valuable concession to export
tobacco. Bredenkamp has also always denied these allegations.

In 1993 Bredenkamp sold his tobacco trading firm, Casalee, and set up his
main company, Sunningdale-based Breco. The full extent of his business
empire is difficult to ascertain, with many of his companies registered in
tax havens like the Isle of Man and the British Virgin Islands. However, his
company's website refers to a network of trading operations in oil, property
and food that criss-crosses Africa, Eastern Europe and the Far East. But it
is his involvement in the Congolese mining industry - along with his arms
trading - that now threatens to derail his business ambitions. The UN claims
that one of his British Virgin Islands companies, Tremalt, has been
illegally exploiting minerals in Congo, such as uranium, cobalt and copper.
Bredenkamp denies any wrongdoing and claims all his mining interests are
above board.

Back in the Home Counties, a woman who answered the phone at Bredenkamp's
mansion last week said he was travelling, but could not say whether he was
abroad or in Britain. Should the UN Security Council accept the UN report's
findings, such freedom to roam is a luxury Bredenkamp may not enjoy for
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Diamonds to finance
Namibia land-grab?
Marxist government required to pay for white-owned farms it takes

Posted: October 27, 2002
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Anthony C. LoBaido
© 2002

"The international diamond traders are the law in Namibia."
-- Namibian Minister of Energy and Mines Jesayu Nyamu

SOSSOSVLEI, Namibia - What do white-owned farms and diamonds have in common
in Namibia? More than one might believe upon first glance.

When Namibia's Marxist President Sam Nujoma recently released a list of 192
farms to be confiscated, many political observers wondered where he would
find the funds to do so. In 1993, Namibia and Germany signed a bilateral
accord stating that any and all German-owned farms would receive fair-market
value from the Namibian government in the event of a land transfer.

Many Namibia watchers remain skeptical that Nujoma would risk destabilizing
the Namibian currency with such a risky budgetary move. After all, the
Namibian currency is directly pegged to the South African rand, and foreign
investors don't want to see Namibia turn into another Zimbabwe - where
dictator Robert Mugabe's confiscation of white-owned farms has brought that
nation to the brink of anarchy and famine.

However, recent revelations that Nujoma might be ready to challenge the
DeBeers diamond cartel point to a potential source of funds to cover the
cost of the German farm purchases without swamping the national budget.

Nujoma and his SWAPO regime (Southwest Africa People's Organization)
recently listed 99 farms owned by German nationals and another 91 owned by
white South Africans. There are 350 foreign-owned farms in all of Namibia.
The total land area covered by these 192 farms is four times the size of

Franzie Toppens, a white Afrikaner Namibian miner from Luderitz, told
WorldNetDaily that he can scarcely believe recent developments between SWAPO
and DeBeers.

"My family has been mining diamonds in Namibia for four generations. DeBeers
and Anglo-American have been the undisputed kings in the diamond trade since
day one. The British, the Afrikaners, the ANC - no one has dared to
challenge them. Until now," said Toppens.

Namibia was a German colony until the end of World War I, when it was turned
over to the British Empire. Later, the apartheid regime took control of the
area. The nation was known as Southwest Africa until 1990.

Recently, Namibian Foreign Minister Hidipo Hamutenya said his government was
frustrated at the slow pace of land redistribution and put out feelers to
the European Union for financial aid in taking over white-owned farm land.

"We want the EU to make a contribution, to give us money for those reforms.
Once they've agreed to the principle that they will contribute, then we'll
talk about the figures," he said.

"There is a (provision) in our constitution that private assets can be
expropriated in the public interest," he told the international media
recently. However, it is well-known that Nujoma has appropriated several
white-owned farms for his personal use. In Zimbabwe, most of the white-owned
farms were purchased after the 1980 fall of Rhodesia to Mugabe's Marxist
government, and Mugabe has handed over most of the land to his cronies or to
black squatters without the drive, resources, intelligence or agricultural
knowledge to run the farms.

"Fair and just compensation must be provided to those who had laid claim to
that property before. So the government might go for expropriation. We may
not have to see it if people can be reasonable," said Hamutenya,

White farmers control about 75 million acres of Namibian farmland. Only 5
million acres are owned by natives.

DeBeers double-cross?

With the rise of right-wing governments inside the European Union, there is
little likelihood the EU will fund the Nujoma/SWAPO appropriation of
white-owned farms. But that won't deter the SWAPO regime, which set in
motion a plan last May to garner a new revenue stream. This plan involves
the DeBeers diamond cartel.

In 1994, DeBeers gave Namibia's communist regime a 50 percent interest in
the diamond mines for a 25-year mining right, including offshore. DeBeers
agreed to the deal, even though Nujoma's government didn't put up any money,
because it cemented its control of Namibia's lucrative offshore rights.
Geologists estimate that there are over a half-billion carats waiting to be
mined under the ocean off Namibia.

It was last May that the Nujoma regime told Namibian Mines and Energy
Minister Jesaya Nyamu to implement Section 59 of the Diamond Act.

"Section 59 is no small matter. It represents the 'tail wagging the dog,'"
Italian diamond trader Adriano Costa told WorldNetDaily. Costa owns a
diamond trading company in Cape Town.

Under Section 59, Namiba can sell off 10 percent of its diamonds outside the
control of the DeBeers' global diamond monopoly. Nyamu penned a letter in
2001 to Gary Ralfe, DeBeers' managing director, telling him of the SWAPO
regime's displeasure with its "arrangement" with the diamond cartel. Nyamu
cited low prices as a large concern of the SWAPO elite. He also expressed
unhappiness with DeBeers' production quotas.

DeBeers, which set up a company with the SWAPO regime called Namdeb, was
knocked for a loop by Nyamu's letter. Maurice Tempelsman, an American
diamond magnate and former consort of Jackie Kennedy-Onassis, immediately
flew to Namibia for a personal meeting with Nujoma. Tempelsman has extremely
close personal ties to the Nujoma family. For example, Aaron Mushimba, the
brother-in-law of Nujoma, is a partner of Tempelsman via a company in the
Bahamas registered under the name "North Bank Diamonds."

On May 27, Tempelsman wrote a letter in which he promised the SWAPO regime
an $80 million dollar down payment for not implementing section 59. The
American also speculated that he might be able to get several large Western
transnational banks to float another $30 million into SWAPO coffers if
Nujoma would only relent on SWAPO's threat to undertake an investigation
into the prices DeBeers receives for its diamonds on the open, albeit
controlled, market.

Nyamu banged heads with Nujoma at the recent SWAPO Politburo meetings and
has sought to challenge Nujoma to be the new leader of Namibia. Nujoma,
already in an unconstitutional third term, has sought to reign in Nyamu. The
fate of Section 59 and its effect on Namibia's budget and the future
compensation for German farmers remains to be seen.
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From The Observer (UK), 27 October

Oryx: The carat and the UN's stick

It's a dark tale that links arms, Africa, smuggling, gems - and billions of dollars

Jamie Doward

It reads like a bad novel. A diamond mining firm in darkest Africa is a front organisation for the Zimbabwean army. The firm, which mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country ripped apart by years of conflict and from where the Millennium Diamond came, has links with a UK-based arms dealer who supplies Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. The mine's Omani owners - thwarted in their attempts to float the firm on the UK stock exchange - smuggle US dollars into Zimbabwe to grease the palms of politicians. Some of the money - drawn from City bank accounts - is used to buy diamonds which the company then claims to have extracted from its own mine. But this is not the stuff of a substandard Wilbur Smith. This is an explosive United Nations Security Council report. And for the mining firm, Oryx Natural Resources, which has plans to produce 10 per cent of the world's diamonds, it is very bad news indeed. But then Oryx is no stranger to controversy. Its short history is a study in crisis management. Oryx hit the headlines last year when the BBC claimed a lieutenant of Osama bin Laden was one of its shareholders. The BBC retracted the claims, but faces a claim for damages of up to £15 million. Certainly Oryx had links with Mugabe. When it tried to float in the UK in June 2000, Oryx's prospectus revealed a firm close to Mugabe owned a 20 per cent stake in the mining firm. A press outcry ensued and the float was pulled. Oryx claims the firm linked to Mugabe is no longer a shareholder. The UN disagrees. 'The [UN] Panel has now obtained documentary evidence that Oryx is being used as a front for the Zimbabwean Defence Force (ZDF) and its military company, OSLEG.' The report concludes that Oryx's 49 per cent stake in its Congolese mining concession is owned by OSLEG and that this arrangement is representative of an elite network linking 'Congolese and Zimbabwean political, military and commercial interests ... This network has transferred ownership of at least $5 billion of assets from the state mining sector to private companies under its control in the past three years.'

If this was not damning enough, the report links Oryx to John Bredenkamp, the Berkshire-based millionaire, named in Parliament as 'the main arms supplier to Zimbabwe'. The UN says it has a document detailing a $1.5m loan agreement signed by Bredenkamp and Oryx's chief executive, Thamer Bin Said Ahmed Al-Shanfari. In addition, the UN has evidence that a plane owned by Bredenkamp and used by Oryx was loaded with Congolese francs bound for Harare, in contravention of the DRC's exchange rate policy. There are other damning claims, notably those linking Oryx to Avient Air, a military company supplying services and equipment to the ZDF. The report states: 'Under the management of Andrew Smith, a former British army captain ... Avient was contracted to organise bombing raids into the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in 1999 and 2000.' There is the letter to Al-Shanfari from Sidney Sekeramayi, Zimbabwe's Minister of Defence and a shareholder in a joint venture between the Congolese military and the ZDF. Sekeramayi writes 'to express my sincere gratitude' for a donation from Al-Shanfari. And then there is the small matter of diamond smuggling. The UN report states that in March 2001 Al-Shanfari instructed his security chief to smuggle diamonds from the DRC into South Africa.

The allegations are corrosive. Oryx emerges as an intimate financial ally of the ZDF and a company prepared to break any rule. The UN recommends financial restrictions should be placed on Oryx, something that will kill its chances of exploiting its mining concession, which has been valued at up to $2bn. Many of the claims in the UN report bare a striking similarity to a feature which appeared in the Spanish newspaper El Pais. The paper claimed Oryx smuggled money into Zimbabwe with the help of the ZDF and that some of the cash found its way to Mugabe's wife, Grace. El Pais subsequently printed a lengthy correction. The paper carried comments from Geoffrey White, Oryx's managing director. El Pais stated: 'According to him [White], two ex-employees of Oryx, whom he described as "fraudsters motivated by revenge" - and who believe Oryx owes them money - are spreading malicious stories.' This claim seems genuine. The Observer has established that Oryx's security chief - a former SAS soldier - and a colleague did threaten to expose the company if they were not paid off. Oryx is now suing the two former employees.

As for the veracity of the claims, Oryx refutes those linking it to the ZDF. It says it provided the UN with its share register which clearly shows there can be no links with the Zimbabwean army. Oryx says it co-operated with the UN, handing over corporate documents and highlighting damaging inaccuracies in an earlier draft report, but to no avail. As for the illegal foreign exchange transactions and diamond smuggling claims, Oryx offers detailed rebuttals which appear to show the UN has confused the situation. The company admits Bredenkamp guaranteed a loan on behalf of a friend working for Oryx, but denies it has a relationship with the alleged arms dealer. It admits to doing business with Avient - which it claims is the only company operating aircraft large enough to transport mining equipment in the DRC. Al-Shanfari, it says, donated only $500 to Sekeramayi. The UN, though, doesn't seem interested in Oryx's denials. Nor does it seem in a hurry to publicise any documents to back up its claims. Oryx now has four months to persuade the UN it is wrong - or its mine will close. History shows there are few successful precedents for persuading the UN to change its mind. Whatever the truth, the closure of the mine would be a tragedy. It has created 1,200 jobs, two schools and a hospital in an area where few thought it possible. 'In the villages around the mine there is money for the first time,' White said. After seeing its flotation pulled in mysterious circumstances, after being libelled by the BBC and attacked by El Pais, Oryx believes the UN report is the latest development in a smear campaign designed to force it out of business. White said: 'There's a continual disinformation campaign driven by commercial competitors.' This could be paranoia or a PR smokescreen, designed to smother the allegations. Or it might be true. Only if the UN publishes its evidence will the real Oryx be exposed.

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Scotland on Sunday

Zimbabwe hero snubs Mugabe from grave


IT WAS an ignominious end for the grandson of a Scottish bricklayer who
became prime minister and fought valiantly for black rights in Zimbabwe - to
die stripped of his citizenship by the president he had battled to bring to

When he died at the age of 94 earlier this month, Sir Garfield Todd - the
former prime minister of Southern Rhodesia - was no longer a citizen of
Zimbabwe despite his courageous support for black majority rule and having
lived in the country for nearly 70 years. Todd had been deprived of a
passport and denied the vote by his former friend, President Robert Mugabe,
who he recently described as "Judas Iscariot".

After helping propel Mugabe to power in 1980, Todd was rewarded by being
appointed a senator. But he became an outspoken critic of the rampant
corruption in the newly-independent Zimbabwe and the mistreatment of its

Even Todd's funeral, which takes place today, has been the subject of bitter
controversy in his adoptive country after what was seen by many as an
unseemly attempt by Mugabe to 'appropriate' his body for his own political

Mugabe wanted the former leader to be buried at Heroes Acre outside the
capital Harare which is the final resting place of the president's favoured

But Todd's daughter Judith refused, pointing out that earlier this year
Mugabe stopped her father voting in the general election, saying he was
really a foreigner who should pack up and leave the country he had made his
own after arriving as a Christian missionary in 1934. Instead Todd, who was
born in New Zealand, will be buried at his Dadaya Mission Station, where he
established his first school for African children in the 1930s.

In an exclusive interview with Scotland on Sunday, Judith Todd said she
never once considered allowing her father to be buried at Mugabe's chosen

She explained: "In life, he was a modest man and never ever considered
himself to be a hero, although many people told him he was just that."

Asked if she knew how angry the Mugabe government was that its offer had
been turned down, Todd replied: "I don't know, and to be honest, don't

      'A vile pit where the nation's crooks lie side by side'

he added it was "typical" of the ruling Zanu (PF) party to stop her father
voting in the general election and then try to declare him a national hero
the moment he died.

The families of Zimbabwe's dead heroes receive some financial perks from the
government. Widows, for example, receive a small pension and free transport

But as one of the leading newspapers in the country, The Daily News, warned
in an editorial: "Whoever they choose to be interred at the Acre will be
assumed to be like-minded, to be a person of no principles, a person driven
by self-aggrandisement who would commit political murder if that was the
only route to retain power."

The 'Father of Black Nationalism' James Chikerema also described the
cemetery as a "vile pit where the nation's crooks lay side by side", adding:
"The really great sons and daughters of Zimbabwe never wanted to be taken
there - Joshua Nkomo, George Nyandoro, Ndabaningi Sithole."

And Welshman Ncube, a senior figure from the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, said: "If anyone from the government gets up and speaks
at Sir Garfield's funeral, I'm going to stand up and walk away."

When Todd was stripped of his citizenship during this year's general
election, he remarked that he was at least grateful that his wife - who had
died two months earlier - had not lived to witness the insult.

Ironically, Mugabe had taught briefly at the school Todd had set up. And
when he was turned away from a polling station in Bulawayo, it was by an
election officer he had once taught at the Dadaya Mission Station.

Throughout his life Todd suffered repeatedly as a result of his impassioned
support for black majority rule. In 1958 he was forced to resign after
losing the confidence of his party following an attempt to increase the
proportion of black Africans allowed to vote. And under Ian Smith's rule he
was restricted to his ranch and then twice detained during the 1972-1982 war
for independence.

Thousands of black mourners are expected to stand with Todd's daughter today
and pay tribute to a man many call in the local language Sindebele "the
white messiah who gave us hope".

Then, as stones and soil cover his coffin, they will break into song and
give the rare Ndebele Royal Salute to a man who in 1958 defied his
all-European cabinet, his all white party, his settler grass roots
followers, but never his lifelong principle that one day Rhodesia would be
transformed into a multicultural paradise in southern Africa.
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Sunday Times (SA)

War of words over MP's death in Harare prison


The Zimbabwean government has made concerted efforts to absolve itself from
blame surrounding the mysterious death of former Movement for Democratic
Change spokesman and MP Judah Learnmore Jongwe in remand prison.

Jongwe, 28, was found dead in his cell at the maximum Chikurubi Prison on
Tuesday morning in Harare, where he was being held on a charge of stabbing
his wife to death.

Two separate autopsies were conducted on his body, one by a government
pathologist and the other by an independent pathologist flown in from South
Africa by the Jongwe family on Thursday.

Police, however, withheld the two postmortem results to allow for further
analysis of forensic specimens and other samples collected from Jongwe's

They allowed the independent pathologist to conduct the second autopsy at
the request of his family, after MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai said that
he held the government responsible for Jongwe's death .

Tsvangirai said the government had a broad strategy to reduce the MDC's
parliamentary representation and force through constitutional changes.

This was after police announced that they had found a small bottle with one
pill next to Jongwe's body. Prison officers failed to account for it.

Chief police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said Jongwe was prescribed
antibiotics by prison doctors after complaining of a severe cough and

He said his condition deteriorated and inmates reported seeing Jongwe
vomiting several times before collapsing and dying in the early hours of
Tuesday morning.

The government hit back at the MDC, accusing Tsvangirai of trying to gain
political mileage from a sad event.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo told state media that the MDC had
ill-treated and abandoned Jongwe after his arrest.

Moyo said Jongwe had complained about being abandoned by the MDC to some
members of the parliamentary legal committee who visited him in prison.

Bulawayo-based lawyer Daniel Molokela, a former colleague of Jongwe in the
student movement, said Jongwe was in a jovial mood and looked strong and
healthy when he visited him 24 hours before his death.

The state-run daily Herald newspaper said police found two letters in which
Jongwe expressed regret for his wife's death.

It reported that he also wrote a footnote in his Bible, dedicating it to his
fellow inmates on the day before he died.

Jongwe, a lawyer before he became an MP, turned himself in to the police in
July after his wife died of stab wounds suffered in a domestic dispute.

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The African Wild only three viable breeding populations are left in the wild
 The African Wild Dog, lycaon pictus, has been eliminated from most of their former range and
 today only three viable breeding populations are left in the wild. Altogether there are thought to be
less than 5,000 individuals living mainly in South  Africa's Kruger Park, Tanzania's Selous Game
Reserve, and in Northern Botswana. Zimbabwe had been slowly building up their populations in
the conservancies and are thought to have about 250 individuals (accounting for 7% of the world
total), but now this indiscriminate poaching is threatening their future in Zimbabwe. Alistair Pole
has been studying wild dogs in the southeast lowveld and says, 'Wild dogs are highly susceptible
to snaring due to their wide ranging movements and the fact that they follow game trails where
most snaring occurs. As the alpha (dominant dogs) often lead the pack it is often these dogs that get
caught in the snare. The implications of this can be significant for the pack. When an alpha dog is
killed it will certainly throw the pack into disarray and could even result in the disbanding of the
The modus operandi of the poachers is to lay a minefield of snares.  So far Save are aware of at least 6 dogs that have died in snares. 'I personally removed a snare from a female that had actually bitten off the lower half of her rear leg and still continued to drag the snare around,' reports Connear. In one case a dog with a radio collar was killed and the war veterans demanded a ransom for the collar. For Alistair Pole the situation on the conservancies is a threat to the future of this endangered species: 'The biggest problem facing wild dog conservation in  Africa is space. As space and prey species are
reduced by encroachment of occupiers, so the population will decrease. They also become more
susceptible to stochastic events such as outbreaks of disease or the snaring of an alpha dog and the
potential pack breakdown. As the occupiers become more settled and numerous, as they are
doing within Save Valley Conservancy, so these problems will be compounded. There is therefore a
very real threat to the viability and existence of the wild dog population in the lowveld.
 On Bubiana, 200 animals have been recovered from the snares out of an estimated 30,000 killed
 in the past 18 months. Most of the animals found have died from starvation, thirst, infected wounds,
or strangulation. Many have had only their limbs cut off for the poacher's pot leaving the rest of the
carcass to wastefully rot. Guy Hilton-Barber, owner of the conservancy's Barberton ranch, is
overwhelmed by the senselessness of the destruction he is seeing. 'Many animals have been
found putrefying without any meat having been removed because poachers failed to check their
snare lines.
The modus operandi of the poachers is to set a minefield of cable snares (made from the fences
that surround the perimeter of the conservancies) that act by slowly strangling, and starving, their
victims to death. In addition to snaring, the poachers are increasingly using dogs to run the
animals down, where they are then speared or axed to death. 'On school holidays poaching is
even harder to control as the kids are sent out to check the snares. It's easy for them to escape
from us and we can't convict them as they're too young,' says Keith Pilz, a Manager on Bubiana.
'The saddest thing is that Bubiana, Save and Chiredzi have vast amounts of wildlife, healthy
productive populations of all the species. They have the biggest concentration of game outside of
the National Parks and yet they have been the hardest hit by these invasions. Zimbabwe has 410
species of birds and 386 have been sighted in Bubiana. We have the highest nesting black eagle
populations. All of this will be lost if this isn't resolved.
They have the biggest concentration of game outside of the National Parks and yet they have been the hardest hit by these invasions.
 Often when the game guards do catch poachers, the enforcement of penalties has been negligible.
It would appear that the police are no longer able to uphold the law, and one Senior Commissioner
has confessed to having his 'hands tied' due to  'orders from above'. Earlier this year, Roger       Whittal, owner of Humani Ranch on the Save Conservancy, came home one afternoon to find
one of his safari camps overrun by illegal settlers. In the process of skinning an impala, the group
consisted of several well-known poachers who had been previously apprehended. The police informed
Whittal that there was nothing they could do, that it was not his camp any more but 'theirs'
(indicating the invaders). Whittal himself has been told that he will be arrested if he continues to
have anti-poaching patrols on 'their' land. Since then the conservancy has been brutalised by
widespread poaching including an elephant whose tusk had been removed. 
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