Zacharia Dube (52) and Elijah Mabasa (40) have been sentenced for stock theft of 21 cattle in 2015, will be spending Christmas behind bars after they were convicted to 29 years imprisonment in the Ermelo Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 20 December 2019.
The convicted pair and a third accomplice were found red-handed two years ago stealing cattle valued at R310 000 at a Brakfontein farm just outside Secunda. This was after the farming community complained to the Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma of a stock theft syndicate in the area. Lieutenant General Zuma tasked the provincial Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation to investigate the complaints.
During the trial accused number three Christopher Kunene Dube’s case was withdrawn after he turned state witness. Mabasa seeing overwhelming evidence opted to plead guilty and was slapped with a seven years direct imprisonment. On the other hand, Dube opted to fight it out in court but he however lost the battle and was slapped with a 29 years sentence.
The Provincial Head of the Hawks in Mpumalanga, Major General Zodwa Mokoena, welcomed the conviction adding that stock theft a problem in Mpumalanga.
“The success has confirmed beyond any doubt, the professionalism and dedication of both the National Prosecuting Authority and the investigators for job well done. The DPCI welcomes the sentence as it will serve as a serious deterrence to the convicted criminals and would-be stock thieves,” she said.
Major General Mokoena has further cautioned the community about incidents of stock theft in the province during the festive season. The perpetrators stock theft usually sell their stolen stock to people who are disparately in need of meat for the festive season.
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