Simon Rudland
Simon Rudland Biography
BornSimon George Wilburn Rudland
Known forBeing a businessman
ChildrenSarah, Hannah, Emma

Simon George Wilburn Rudland is a Zimbabwean businessman with interests in logistics, agriculture and finance. Rudland is the co-owner of Gold Leaf Tobacco Corporation and a member of the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA). he also has interests in Pioneer Transport.


Simon Rudland has a brother named Hamish.[1]


Rudland has three children from a previous marriage. The children are; Sarah, Hannah born on 10 April 1994 and the youngest Emma Rudland. Emma is a special needs child. [2]


Simon Rudland was married to Leigh-Ann Patricia Schoeman in Harare on 3 September 1992 in terms of the Marriage Act, [Chapter 5:11].

On 19 November 2014 Leigh-Ann Patricia Schoeman sued Rudland for the dissolution of the marriage and other ancillary relief.

She alleged that the marriage relationship had irretrievably broken down to an extent that there was no reasonable possibility of the restoration of a normal marriage relationship between them, more particularly in that during the subsistence of the marriage: Rudland had committed adultery, subjected Schoeman to physical and mental cruelty; deserted the matrimonial home and refused to resume cohabitation with her; assaulted and denied his paternity of Hannah Rudland and had engaged in illegal business activities. Schoeman said they had not lived together for a period in excess of 30 months and that Rudland had started dating another woman.

As part of the divorce settlement; Leigh-Ann Patricia Schoeman was awarded custody of the minor child Emma. Rudland agreed to pay for all of the reasonable maintenance requirements of the said minor child including her medical, dental and educational costs until she was self-supporting. Schoeman was awarded the following immovable properties as her sole and exclusive properties-
(i) 55 Crowhill Road, Borrowdale, Harare (comprising Lot 13 of Lot 17 C Borrowdale Estate and the remainder of Lot 17 C Borrowdale Estate); and
(ii) Section 505 20 West Road South, Morningside, Johannesburg, South Africa.
She was also awarded a 50% share in Glenbeach Investments (Pvt) Ltd, a company whose sole asset is 10 Hedsor Drive, Borrowdale Harare.
Simon Rudland was ordered to pay a sum of US$5 million within 12 months of the divorce. [2]


He co-owns Gold Leaf Tobacco Corporation (GLTC) with Yakub Mahomed. [3]
Simon and his brother Hamish Rudland formed Pioneer Transport in 1995, growing their business into Pioneer Corporation Africa through the acquisitions of other leading transport businesses, including Unifreight – owners of Swift Transport – Bulwark, and Clan.
In 2015, Simon Rudland launched the Rudland & George cigarette brand.
The Rudlands have been active investors on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, holding significant stakes in assets such as Zimre, through his investment vehicle Day River Corporation, and in agriculture company CFI. [1]


In 2019 his net worth was reported to be around US$98 million. [4]

Assassination Attempt

On 14 August 2019, Rudland was seriously injured when two men shot at him outside FITA's offices in South Africa. Simon Rudland was hospitalised and kept in intensive care. [5]
He was ambushed by a gunman who fired nine shots at him when he pulled his black Porsche Boxster into the driveway of the FITA offices in Oaklands, Johannesburg, South Africa. The shooter and an accomplice had been waiting in a white VW Golf in a street adjacent to FITA’s offices.
Three bullets struck Simon Rudland – two in his back and one in his neck, after it went through the headrest, missing his spine by 1mm. Although Rudland had not received any direct death threats, he said he was not entirely surprised by the assassination attempt. [6]
Jonathan Schoeman was arraigned before the South African courts facing a variety of charges, including murder and attempted murder. The alleged mastermind of the failed assassination attempt Sebastian Groenewald – a former special forces police officer – was killed. [7] In October 2021, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) withdrew charges against Jonathan Schoeman. Weeks before Schoeman was to be indicted, the NPA withdrew charges relating to the assassination attempt on Simon Rudland, and the bloody slaying of Johannesburg businessman Shuaib Dowjee. [8]

Legal Cases

In March 2006, Mavambo was raided by the South African crime-fighting unit the Scorpions. The Scorpions had obtained court warrants of arrest for Mahomed, Rudland and Ebrahim Adamjee, a South African.
According to an affidavit, Mahomed allegedly operated two related cigarette manufacturing plants, Gold Leaf and Sahawi, which suppos­edly supplied cigarettes on which no VAT or excise duty was paid. Adamjee allegedly 'controlled the cash generated from the illegal cigarette sales'. Some of the cash was reportedly laundered through Mavambo and other accounts controlled by Rudland, who was also allegedly involved in smuggling Sahawi cigarettes. The investigation came to nought when the warrants were challenged in the Supreme Court of Appeal. Ultimately the case was formally withdrawn.[3]

RG Brand Name

In 2016, Gold Leaf was involved in a court case in Zimbabwe regarding its right to sell cigarettes bearing the brand name RG. The court ruled that the use of the name caused prejudice to the Remington Gold brand owned by Zimbabwean company Savanna Tobacco.
The following year, Gold Leaf introduced the brand Rudland & George in Zimbabwe, while RG continued to be sold in South Africa. [5][9]

Illegal Property Transfer Accusation

In June 2020, High Court Judge Happias Zhou cleared Simon Rud­land of mis­con­duct after he was ac­cused of il­le­gally trans­fer­ring four prop­er­ties into his name.
Rud­land was dragged to court by coun­ter­part Fu­ture Mu­vir­imi and wife Petronela who were mov­ing to re­verse four prop­er­ties al­ready in Rud­land’s names.
Ac­cord­ing to the pa­pers, some­time in 2010, Mu­vir­imi and his wife sought a dec­la­ra­tion that the ac­knowl­edge­ment of debt, which he took in his per­sonal ca­pac­ity was null and void, of no force and with­out ef­fect. Mu­vir­imi had is­sued sum­mons through his com­pa­nies Leon­far In­vest­ments, Down­town Petroleum In­vest­ments and Deep­star In­vest­ment. He claimed the re­ver­sal of the trans­fer of the four prop­er­ties and a US$255 500 pay­ment as dam­ages for al­leged loss of in­come.
In his ar­gu­ment, Mu­vir­imi had al­leged that Rud­land had failed to ad­vance to him a US$1 mil­lion loan be­fore he went ahead to at­tach the four prop­er­ties Mu­vir­imi had ten­dered as surety. How­ever, Rud­land man­aged to prove to the court that the prop­er­ties were trans­par­ently trans­ferred as per agree­ment be­tween the par­ties. Rudland de­nied al­le­ga­tions and main­tained that the ac­knowl­edge­ment of debt by Mu­vir­imi was bind­ing and the US$1 mil­lion was re­leased to him. [10]

Football Sponsorship

In 2019, Simon Rudland donated $5 million to Dynamos Football Club. Through his R&G cigarettes brand, he signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Dynamos as its flagship sponsor.
The sponsorship package was worth RTGS$1 million a year for five years and was subject to an increase in financial outlay. [4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Zim’s Wealthy Rudland Family Set To Take Over Tongaat Hulett,, Published: November 18, 2021, Retrieved: January 24, 2022
  2. 2.0 2.1 LEIGH-ANN PATRICIA RUDLAND (nee SCHOEMAN) versus SIMON GEORGE WILBURN RUDLAND, JSC, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: January 25, 2022
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tobacco Wars: Simon Rudland’s empire in Zimbabwe, The Zimbabwean, Published: August 16, 2019, Retrieved: January 25, 2022
  4. 4.0 4.1 Robson Sharuko, DeMbare sponsor shot in South Africa, The Herald, Published: August 2019, Retrieved: January 25, 2022
  5. 5.0 5.1 Riaan Grobler, Attempted hit: Tobacco boss Simon Rudland kingpin of the ‘cheapies’, News23, Published: August 15, 2019, Retrieved: January 25, 2022
  6. Mandy Wiener, Hits, threats and secret ops – behind the Simon Rudland attempted hit, Citizen, Published: August 17, 2019, Retrieved: January 25, 2022
  7. Net closing in on Rudland assailants, Zimbabwe Situation, Published: December 9, 2020, Retrieved: January 25, 2022
  8. Jeff Wicks, Blood Brothers: Shock as NPA withdraws charges against alleged tobacco assassin, News24, Published: October 16, 2021, Retrieved: January 25, 2022
  9. Rudland loses cigar battle, The Herald, Published: September 16, 2016, Retrieved: January 25, 2022
  10. Mathew Masinge, High Court clears Rud­land, Press Reader, Published: June 22, 2020, Retrieved: January 25, 2020