BULAWAYO, Tuesday, October 18, 1966 — John Watson, a 21-year-old European game warden at Buffalo Range game park was sentenced in the Triangle magistrate’s court to four months and six cuts, conditionally suspended, for whipping two African poachers with a sjambok.
He was found guilty on two charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Evidence was given that Watson, with two African rangers, arrested two Africans who were in possession of wire snares. The poachers admitted that they had killed four impala at Buffalo Range game park.
Watson handcuffed the men and took them to his house where he questioned them regarding the whereabouts of more wire snares. When they refused to answer him he struck them.
When the men continued to refuse to answer his questions, Watson was said to have handcuffed their hands behind their backs.
He then took them into his house separately and flogged them with a sjambok.
He then took them to Buffalo Range store and handed them over to Patrol Officer B Meaking, who took them to the Triangle hospital for treatment.
In judgment, Mr ID Howcroft said: “This was a vicious and unnecessary assault. The fact that the men were handcuffed was an aggravating factor.”
Mr F Labuschane, of Winterton, Holmes and Hill appeared for Watson and Section Officer AD James prosecuted.