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Fight against stock theft in Eastern Cape gaining momentum

Mar 18, 2019
Fight against stock theft in Eastern Cape gaining momentum

Mthatha - Eastern Cape SAPS 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 the Eastern Cape as it entails, in many instances, the theft of livelihoods said Eastern Cape SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga.

"Various operations and interventions have yielded good results through recoveries and arrests in the past week," said police spokesperson, Capt Khaya Tonjeni.

"Three members of Mthatha Stock theft recovered four strayed cattle at Tabase Mission Mthatha. Assisted by community, the police loaded the cattle and impounded them at Tsolo pound."

On Thursday, a follow-up was conducted by the Stock Theft Unit and Mounted Unit (STU) after 498 sheep stolen from Makwaye location, in Lesotho.

"Six sheep were recovered in an unused house at Mazaleni loc Makhoba and were handed to lawful owner during this operation."

Capt Tonjeni said that on Wednesday, an intelligence-driven operation was conducted by a multi discipline team at Haheng la Khotso Stock post at Belford where three cattle were recovered and impounded at Matatiele stock pound.

"Sterkspruit STU members followed an information after a complainant, Bafana Gebuza, of Jozana's Hoek reported his stolen cattle on Thursday.

"Those cattle were stolen on 03 March 2019 on the grazing camp of Jozana's Hoek. Four of those cattle were recovered abandoned in the mountains of Mokhesi Village.

"The cattle were handed over to the complainant and lawful owner Bafana Gebuza."

The Mthatha Stock Theft Unit arrested a suspect, Nomjiko Bhozo, who was charged for two cases of stock theft at Bityi after 12 sheep recovered and positively identified by Kateni of Bityi Ngqunge location.

"Other sheep were recovered and positively identified by Vila of Bityi Mpikwana A/A," Capt Tonjeni added.

"Both cases were before court on Friday and the case was remanded for 28 March 2019. The suspect was released out on bail of R500."

Mthatha Stock Theft Unit arrested an additional suspect

Capt Tonjeni said that the Mthatha STU arrested an additional male suspect, aged 38 years, for the Bityi case of stock involving suspect, Nomjiko Bhozo.

"The suspect is the additional to the stock theft case of accused, Nomjiko Bhozo. The case has been remanded to court date 20 March 2019 at Bityi."

Meanwhile, the ENgcobo STU arrested two male 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 one pig was stolen and slaughtered in Bityi.

"The pig was stolen on 12 March 2019 and juveniles were detained on Thursday and released to their parents on Friday.

"The senior Public Prosecutor's instruction said, the court needs birth certificates as a proof of their ages. The case was postponed to 22 March /2019," Capt Tonjeni said.

"A case was opened after Bathandwa Zotsho Mjindi was found with 24 sheep on 19 November 2015.

"He was found guilty of possession of stolen stock and sentenced to undergo five years imprisonment at Mthatha Magistrate's Court on Friday."

Eastern Cape SAPS Provincial Commissioner Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga said that the provincial management is exploring multiple ways ways with various structures,partner's 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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