Early this week Magistrate Samuel Dzuze convicted Algernon Taffs of Chirega Farm, Dawie Joubert of Stilfontein, Mike Odendaal of Hillcrest farm and Mike Jahme of Silverton Farm after they appeared before a Chipinge Court for judgment on their outstanding cases of contravening sections the Gazetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Act.
The white farmers made an urgent High Court Chamber application challenging their evictions and Justice Samuel Kudya granted a provisional order on Wednesday night setting aside the ruling by the Chipinge Magistrate that gave the white commercial famers 24 hour notices to vacate their farms gazetted by the government under the controversial land reform programme.
The farmers were represented by lawyer David Drury of Gollop and Blank Legal Practitioners while Tawanda Zvekare stood for the State. Hendrik Olivier, the director of the Commercial Farmers Union told
RadioVOP that he had received information to effect that one of the farmers had already been arrested. “I understand that they have already arrested Mr Joubert despite the fact that there is the High Court order. The Magistrate has issued warrant of arrest orders for all the four farmers arguing that he does not listen to High Court orders,” said Olivier during a phone interview.
In his separate judgments Magistrate Dzuze on Tuesday found all four white farmers guilty and sentenced them to US$800 fine each and ordered that they immediately moved out of their homes and vacated their farms by (Wednesday) evening The magistrate, according to the CFU, said if the four failed to vacate their properties as ordered by the court they would spend the next two years in jail.
Odendaal of Hillcrest was the only exception as he was given one month to wind up his dairy business. The Magistrate said that if they failed to vacate their properties as ordered they would spend the next 2 years in jail.