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Zimbabwean white farmer trial date set

by Ndou Paul
28 Jun 2011 at 21:40hrs | Views
The trial of a Zimbabwean white farmer George Watson (31) has been set for July 7. Watson was recently arrested for running over his workers' tin houses and setting their belongings on fire as punishment.

Watson who went into hiding along with his wife Elaine Du Plooy (25) was arrested last week after he surrendered himself to the police in the company of his lawyer Mr Winston Tshakalisa.
He is being charged with malicious damage to property.

Watson has a long-standing dispute with villagers from the nearby Siyoga, Madzive, Majini and newly resettled areas over the grazing lands and natural water drinking points.

The villagers allege that Watson fenced most natural water drinking points and grazing lands around his ranch barring livestock from the nearby villages from accessing water or grazing lands.

However, the cattle and other livestock find their way to the ranch through the porous parameter fencing.
Villagers from the area have long been accusing the couple of harbouring racist tendencies as they usually beat the former when they track the livestock to the farm.

Beitbridge resident magistrate, Miss Gloria Takundwa remanded Watson to his trial date on $100 bail.
He was ordered to surrender his travel documents, to reside at his given address and not to interfere with state witnesses as part of the bail conditions.

Charges against Watson are that on the night of 31 May this year, the accused drove his Toyota Land Cruiser into three tin houses belonging to his employees.
It is also alleged that seven people had been sleeping in those houses. The occupants in the houses were awaken by the impact and managed to escape unhurt.

Watson went to his house and came back with petrol that he sprinkled on the damaged house and the employees' belongings, which he then set ablaze.
As a result of the inferno the workers lost property worth US$1400.

The state further alleges that soon after setting the property on fire, Watson then went and directed his administration clerk to ensure that the houses were repaired before the police arrived.
He then went into hiding along with his wife.

A report was then made to police leading to his arrest after being on the run for a couple of days.
In another matter before the courts, the couple is accused with assaulting and setting dogs on two herdboys they found looking for stray donkeys in their ranch.

Source - Byo24News

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