Eastern Cape Provincial Management have noted an unwelcome spike in stock theft and effected various interventions to curb the theft and illegal transit of stock throughout the province.
Stock theft is not taken lightly in Eastern Cape as it entail in many instances theft of livelihoods said Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Ntshinga. Various operations and interventions have yielded good results through recoveries and arrests in the past week.
Three members of Mthatha Stock Theft Unit recovered four strayed cattle at Tabase Mission, Mthatha. Assisted by community members, the police loaded the cattle and impounded them at Tsolo pound.
On 14 March 2019 a follow-up was conducted by members of the Stock Theft Unit and Mounted Unit after 498 sheep stolen from Makwaye locality, Lesotho. Six sheep were recovered in an unused house at Mazaleni locality, Makhoba and were handed to the owner during this operation.
On 13 March 2019 an intelligence driven operation was conducted by a multidisciplinary team at Haheng la Khotso stock post at Belford where three cattle were recovered and impounded at Matatiele stock pound.
Sterkspruit Stock Theft Unit members followed information after a complainant, of Jozanna’s Hoek reported his stolen cattle on 14 March 2019. The cattle were stolen on 3 March 2019 from the grazing camp of Jozanna’s Hoek. Four of the cattle were recovered abandoned in the mountains of Mokhesi Village. The cattle were handed over to the owner.
Members of Mthatha Stock Theft Unit arrested a suspect, Nomjiko Bhozo and charged him for two cases of stock theft at Bityi after sheep were recovered and positively identified by the owner. Other sheep were also recovered and positively identified by the owner.
Both cases were before court on 15 March 2019 and the cases were remanded for 28 March 2019. The suspect was released out on bail of R500.
Engcobo Stock Theft Unit members arrested two suspects aged between 19 and 52 years after being found in possession of 43 sheep and 14 goats that were reported stolen. The suspects were charged with theft and possession of suspected stolen stock and due to appear in court soon.
Mthatha Stock Theft Unit arrested seven juveniles for stock theft after a pig was stolen on 12 March 2019 and slaughtered in Bityi. The senior Public Prosecutor’s instruction said, the court needs birth certificates as proof of their ages. The case was postponed to 22 March 2019.
A case was opened after Bathandwa Zotsho Mjindi was found with twenty four sheep on 19 November 2015. He was found guilty of possession of stolen stock and sentenced to undergo 5 years imprisonment at Mthatha Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 15 March 2019.
Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lt Gen Ntshinga said the Provincial Management is exploring multiple ways with various structures, partners and organisation to eradicate stock theft.
“We call on all rural community members to play their part by refusing to buy stolen meat and stock. Secondly, join in the fight by reporting these sinister activities and join community in blue to help eradicate crime like stock theft in our rural farmlands.”
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