Sheep thieves get combined 22 years behind bars

AUGUST 19, 2015

Six stock thieves were convicted and sentenced to a combined 22 years imprisonment by the Kokstad Regional Court in three unrelated stock theft cases during August, Eastern Cape police said.

On 14 August, four suspects were sentenced to 12 years imprisonment of which five years were suspended, for stealing 30 sheep from Rasfontain Farm on 17 December 2014.

Convicted suspects; Mzwandile Hlwili (40), Zwelandile  Nokwabuza (34), Mabhekela Nonjanja (53) and Nogwabuza Solephi (24) were apprehended by the police on the same day and all the sheep were recovered.

Also on 14 August, in an unrelated case, a 24-year-old Tsiliso Mosenye, a Lesotho National was found guilty and sentenced to eight years imprisonment. The suspect allegedly stole 58 sheep from a Brayside Farm near Matatiele on 15 March.

The suspect sold the sheep to the members of community at Kwamzongwa where the police recovered some of the stolen sheep.

On 06 August, Xolani Akhosi (24) from Magasela Village near Kokstad, was sentenced to two years after being found guilty of stealing one sheep from Eureka farm next to Matatiele. The sheep was recovered by Stock Theft members at his homestead.

Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Celiwe Binta commended the work done by the SAPS members in making sure these cases are speedily finalised and the perpetrators are brought to justice.

She said the theft of livestock is not seen as just another theft of property, often even small numbers of livestock represent the livelihood of a family and their means to sustain themselves hence, the SAPS views Stock Theft cases in a very serious manner.

“We also call on farmers and stock owners to count their stock regularly and immediately report any missing stock or stock recovered. The necessity of a thorough stock register cannot be emphasized enough. Commit to paper as much details as possible and keep the register up to date yourself,” said General Binta.