Eastern Cape police are issuing a warning to all stockowners to be more vigilant about their stock. Since the beginning of the festive season, Eastern Cape Stock Theft Unit has recovered a lot of stock abandoned, straying and most cases unattended. We therefore plead to stock owners to herd their stock or appoint a shepherd to look after it as some of the abandoned and unattended stock tend to stray to major roads and result in road fatalities.
Another warning is to rural communities to be always on the lookout whenever there are people driving stock or carrying stock in a truck or any other vehicle. Some of the abandoned houses in the rural areas are used by stock thieves as a temporary storage until taken to the next destination. To those who are undertaking traditional ceremonies, funerals and other rituals we encourage them to double check the ownership of stock to avoid buying stolen stock.
The following cases have been opened since Stock Theft Units throughout the province initiated anti stock theft operations, way lay and necessary disruptions.
Three male suspects aged 27, 35 and 53 were arrested for possession of stolen stock from Qokolweni .The stock belonged to the local chief in that area. The cattle were just arriving and were part of lobola. Mt Frere SAPS arrested the three suspects driving twenty four, 24 suspected stolen cattle in Zimbane. The cattle were reunited with their lawful owner while the suspects are expected to appear in Mthatha Magistrate Court today facing a charge of stock theft.
Cradock SAPS arrested four suspect aged between 23 and 24 after they were seen by a police officer on patrol loading five sheep on a bakkie near Molenhof Farm in Cradock. One suspect has since been released for lack of evidence connecting him to the crime. Police are still looking for the third suspect who was the driver of the bakkie who is still at large. The two suspects are expected to appear at Cradock Magistrate’s Court for bail application today, 31 December 2018.
An operation held at Mgodini on Sunday, 30 December 2018 and Rockville locations in Flagstaff resulted in the arrest of two male suspects aged 33 and 58 and recovery of three cattle. The two are expected to appear at Flagstaff Magistrate’s Court today facing a charge of stock theft.
Six goats were found straying at Qhankqu location, Sulenkama and were impounded at Qumbu pound while efforts to trace the rightful owner are undertaken.
Eight sheep were recovered at Ntshiqo and handed over to lawful owner.
Mthatha STU were busy with operations when they received information of stock abandoned in an old vacant house. They followed up and successfully recovered 11 sheep that have been taken to Mthatha stock pound for safekeeping until the rightful owner has been identified.
Mbizana Stock Theft Unit members were following information at Maladini location in Qumbu where they successfully recovered Three cattle found straying. No one was arrested. All recovered stock have been positively identified by the complainants.
Mbizana Stock Theft Unit followed up on information of sheep kept in the forest at Mawusheni location. When police arrived they found twenty sheep tied with strings of rope inside a shack built next to the forest. The complainant was located and positively identified all of his sheep even though he reported that sixteen sheep are still outstanding.
Provincial Commissioner Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga appealed to the Stock Theft Unit members to intensify the operations as festive season is reaching its peak. She also warned the community to resist the temptation to buy stolen stock as they are perpetuating the abhorred habit of stock theft.
“Buying stolen stock is equal to creating a market for thieves and police have no option but to arrest the buyer and seller,” emphasised the Provincial Commissioner.
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