Tuesday 8 May 2018


HOME Affairs and Culture Minister Dr Obert Mpofu has filed a $300 000 lawsuit against Chief Felix Nhlanhla Ndiweni for claiming that he stole 200 cattle before making a docket, which was opened against him disappear.

Chief Ndiweni of Ntabazinduna made the remarks on Monday while testifying before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Gladmore Mushove in case in which he is facing charges of malicious damage to property. Chief Ndiweni together with 23 other villagers allegedly destroyed a local villager, Mr Fetti Mbele’s homestead.
He told the court that Dr Mpofu was fighting against him and his co-accused persons because he “stole his father’s 200 cattle.”

Chief Ndiweni said they reported the matter at Mbembesi Police Station where the papers “disappeared” under unclear circumstances.

Dr Mpofu through his lawyer Mr Byron Sengweni of Sengweni Legal Practice yesterday filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court citing Chief Ndiweni as the defendant.

The Minister said the utterances by Chief Ndiweni caused damage to his reputation as a respected public official. He wants an order directing Chief Ndiweni to pay $300 000 in damages suffered for defamation as a result of the utterances.

He also seeks an order directing Chief Ndiweni to retract the defamatory utterances within 48 hours of the granting of order.

In the court papers, Dr Mpofu’s lawyer said the remarks by Chief Ndiweni were extremely defamatory and tainted his image as a politician of high integrity.
“On 7 May 2018 and at the Bulawayo Magistrate’s Court, the defendant while giving evidence uttered defamatory words implying that the plaintiff (Dr Mpofu) was a thief. The defendant’s intention was to defame Dr Mpofu and injure his reputation,” said Mr Sengweni.

He said his client has nothing to do with the defendant’s ongoing criminal proceedings.
“The defendant had full knowledge of the wrongfulness and defamatory nature of his statement because he refused to retract it even after the State had requested him to do so,” said Mr Sengweni.
Dr Mpofu is claiming $300 000 from the defendant and wants Chief Ndiweni to pay the legal costs.
Chief Ndiweni has not yet responded to the summons. The chief and the 23 villagers allegedly pulled down a fence at Mr Mbele’s homestead and destroyed his cattle kraal.

Mr Mbele was banished from the village after his wife Ms Nonkangelo Mpengesi was allegedly caught having sex with another villager.

Chief Ndiweni then ruled that Mr Mbele and his “adulterous” wife should be banished from Sifelani village, saying ‘prostitution’ will not be tolerated in his area. They destroyed Mr Mbele’s property after he defied his order to leave the village. Chronicle


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