ONE of President Robert Mugabe’s closest aides, Ray Ndhlukula, continued to defy a High Court order barring him from evicting Figtree farmer David Connolly after he reportedly moved in his cattle at the latter’s Centenary Farm on Saturday.
Senior Court Reporter
Connolly is embroiled in a fierce legal battle with Ndhlukula, who has been trying to move into Centenary Farm since June despite a High Court order barring him from interfering with operations at the property.
Yesterday, Connolly confirmed that Ndhlukula had driven his cattle into the farm.
“I am not yet back at the farm,” he said.
“However, Ndhlukula continues to defy the court order. On Saturday he moved in his cattle into my farm despite the court interdict.”
A reliable source told Southern Eye yesterday that Ndhlukula had started cropping at Connolly’s farm.
Ndhlukula is facing contempt of court charges and the matter is still pending before the High Court although it has since been struck off the roll and is most likely to be heard next year.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva is supposed to hear the matter.
The latest development comes on the heels of reported efforts by Ndhlukula to take over a farm belonging to David’s brother, Michael’s Benovullum Farm in the same area as punishment for Connolly’s lack of respect in getting a court order against him.
The legal wrangle between Connolly and Ndhlukula has sucked in Mugabe’s nephew, a top cop, Deputy Police Commissioner Innocent Matibiri.
Connolly’s property is one of the most productive in Matabeleland South. Ndhlukula’s workers started camping at Connolly’s farm in August after the eviction of farm workers from their dwellings.
A contempt of court case against Ndhlukula was then filed at the High Court.
In September, Connolly was chased from the farm and his workers were stopped from growing crops by Ndhlukula’s workers before the farm was barricaded.
Ndhlukula reportedly has two other farms in Matabeleland South, identified as Wilfred Hope Farm in Marula and Vlakfontein — otherwise known as Subdivision 2 of Marula Block.