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Eastern Cape SAPS anti stock theft operations yielding successes

May 14, 2019
Eastern Cape SAPS anti stock theft operations yielding successes

Communities urged to not buy stolen stock or meat

King Williams Town - Fifty-three cattle, 101 sheep and three horses were some of the stolen, strayed and lost stock that was returned to their owners following various anti-stock theft and recovery interventions by Eastern Cape police.

"These recoveries were fruits yielded between Provincial Commissioner's Imbizo in Maclear on 30 April, a provincial stock raid between 24 -29 March and various operations in different clusters in the province," said police spokesperson, Captain Khaya Tonjeni.

Eastern Cape SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga, is not taking stock theft lightly.

"It is theft of livelihoods, from the national economy and a threat to food security," she warned.

Capt Tojeni said that the various recoveries bear testimony to effectiveness of some of the interventions the Provincial Stock Theft Unit to combat stock theft in the past two weeks.

He said that Bluewater SAPS Constables, Metu and Lubelwana, were on patrol on Sunday when they spotted a bakkie loaded with four cattle.

"They stopped it and asked the driver about the cattle and his destination. The driver said he had bought the cattle from a local farm," Capt Tonjeni said.

"Police called the phone number on the paper produced by the driver and it was unanswered.

"While the officers were still busy with the driver, the owner of the cattle arrived and positively identified the cattle as his."

At the farm where the driver alleged to have bought the cattle, a 40-year-old African male confessed to have sold the cattle to him.

"The suspect was arrested immediately and police charged him for possession of suspected stolen property."

He said that the stock owner was assisted in opening three cases of stock theft.

"The suspect is expected to appear before East London Magistrate's Court on Tuesday."

Mthatha stock theft unit makes recoveries 

In another unrelated incident, the Mthatha stock theft unit -  together with Vispol Mthatha, received information about sheep hidden near the river at Ncise and followed up.

"They recovered 24 sheep tied with wires and their owner, Ncapayi of Lwandlane, positively identified the sheep as his. They were stolen from his kraal the previous night - 11 May 2019," Capt Tonjeni said.

"The sheep were returned to their bonafide owner and the case was solved."

Meanwhile, in another incident, members of Maluti Stocktheft Unit and Katkop Vispol received a tip off and proceeded to Maladini location in Gqukunqa where they recovered 14 sheep with new earmarks straying and impounded them at the Mount Fletcher Stock pound.

In another incident, the Mthatha stock theft unit recovered 12 cattle that strayed at Mtyu A/A, Ngqeleni, and all were impounded at Tsolo.

"Stock owners, who have missing cattle to go and identify their stock from the ones kept at the Tsolo pound."

Police also recovered one horse straying at Mpharane location, Maluti. It was handed over to its owner, Kadi Mohlomi of Ramohlakoana.

"The Maluti STU proceeded to Avondale farms after receiving a tip off where they recovered 14 cattle and two horses, which were being transported to Lesotho and eleven cattle," said Capt Tonjeni.

"The two horses were taken to the Matatiele stock pound whilst three cattle are being kept at Marareni's farm.

"A follow-up was conducted by STU members at Thabamkoti (along Drakensberg mountains) where members recovered 13 cattle, which were handed oveer to Mothowanete Moshoeshoe, their owner."

Capt Tonjeni said that early this month, 14 sheep were recovered and handed over to their rightful owner after they were positively identified through the beaming of photos during Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner 's Imbizo in Somerville, Maluti, on the 30 April.

"The complainant did not know that Stock Theft unit had already recovered his 63 sheep that were stolen during March 2019," he described.

"The said sixty three sheep were recovered during a stock raid held from 24 March 2019 until 29 March 2019.

"All the stock was kept at kept at Tsolo Pound. Photos were taken and beamed on big television screen during the proceedings of the Imbizo.

"That is how the owner managed to positively identify his lost sheep."

Lt Gen Ntshinga encouraged the Stock Theft Units to intensify on operations, recover more stock and arrest all stock thieves.

She also appealed to the community to be vigilant and resist the temptation to buy stock or meat from stock thieves.

"Let us not be accessory to crime, let us not create and support a market for stocktheft ," she warned.

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