PERTH − The man charged for the murder of conservationist Greg Gibbard in Dete has been described as a friend of the Australian.
Xmas Mpofu, a former employee of Painted Dog Corperation (PDC) has been charged with Gibbard’s murder.
PDC founder Greg Gibbard was last week found dead outside his Dete residence. He was aged 62.
Mpofu worked at the African painted dog shelter in Dete for more than 10 years, until he lost his job last year.
He and former PDC chairman Gibbard were believed to be close friends as well as co-workers.
PDC chairman John Lemon, who also worked with Mpofu, spoke of his shock and heartache yesterday.
“It is very difficult because I was very close to the suspect,” the Perth Zoo curator said. “I feel cold and sick, and I hope we finalise findings shortly.”
Lemon said he was in contact with Zimbabwean police daily, as well as Gibbard’s family.
“I worked with Greg for 15 years. I am devastated,” he said.
Arrangements are being made for Gibbard’s body to be cremated in Africa and some of his ashes returned to Australia.
The conservationist who left his Balga home for Zimbabwe five years ago dedicated much of his life to conserve endangered wildlife.
He was the founding chairperson of PDC, a non-profit group set up in 2003.
Gibbard had worked as an accountant for the federal government, Silver Chain and Edith Cowan University in Perth after serving as a sapper in the army reserves. The West Australian