MATABELELAND professional hunter, Theodore Bronkhorst, accused of illegally translocating 24 sables from Thetford Estate in Mazowe to Bulawayo has indicated that he will seek discharge after the State closed its case yesterday.
The State represented by Jeremiah Mutsindikwa alleges that Bronkhorst violated the provisions of the Parks and Wildlife Act.
Through his lawyer Advocate Perpetual Dube, Bronkhorst, who is being charged together with his company Cereal Farming, denied the charge when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate, Gladmore Mushove.
Dube yesterday said it was not true that 24 sables were involved in the translocation, but only 18 were translocated.
The accused’s lawyer told the court that she would soon apply for Bronkhorst’s discharge due to lack of clarity and intention of the charge.
Mushove remanded the matter to February 26 for judgment in the application for discharge.
In his defence, Bronkhorst said he does not own or breed sables personally, but it is a commercial enterprise done by his firm Cereal Farming (Pvt) Ltd.
He said the sables were purchased by the company, which remains legally responsible for them, and to which liability for any breach of law will attach and all actions Bronkhorst took were in his capacity as director of the company. He said no criminal liability should be attached to him individually.
Dube said the company purchased the sables from Mazowe with the intention to take them to Musuna Ranch in Matabeleland North.
“It was, however, prevented from doing so by various factors such as foot and mouth disease in Matabeleland North, but did not affect Umguza district, breaking down of the truck in which the sables were being transported, prohibitive costs of transporting feeds from Bulawayo to Matetsi and the company’s intention to locate premises close to the city to conduct its breeding enterprise at,” Dube said.
She further said Bronkhorst left the sables at a property in Bulawayo under the company’s custody.
It is alleged that on September 26, 2014, Bronkhorst obtained a Parks and Wildlife permit number 59 (4) (9) and (b) 39/2014 for the translocation of the 24 sables bought by his firm from Thetford Estate in Mazowe to Musuna Ranch trading as Bushman Safaris in Hwange.
He allegedly obtained permit number 648319B from Veterinary Department to support the Parks and Wildlife permit.
The veterinary permit states that the sables were to be moved from Thetford Estate Mazowe to Musuna Ranch within seven days, but contrary to these conditions, on September 29, 2014, they moved the sables on the strength of the two permits to stand number 15 and 16 Bulawayo Drive, Douglasdale.-Newsday