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2024/01/09      |  Written By:  Captain W Matyolo   |   Province:  Eastern Cape

 Stock theft units unwavering dedication across the OR Tambo district  in safeguarding livestock is seen to be yielding positive results. The relentless efforts of police  in the district to clamp down on stock thieves resulted in the arrest of an 83 year old man  from Xopozo locality who falsely reported his stock stolen between November and early December in 2023. At the time, the elderly man indicated that 3 cattle were stolen whilst they were grazing in the fields. A case of stock theft  was investigated by Flagstaff Stock Theft  Unit and as the investigation progressed, it was established that the man had in fact sold the cattle. Two of the cattle were subsequently recovered while the third was already slaughtered. The total value of the cattle is R30 000.

A case of perjury was opened  and the man was charged and warned to appear in the Flagstaff magistrate court on Monday, 08/01. As police continue to intensify their efforts, two men, both 24 years old from the Mncetyana locality,  were convicted in the Tsolo magistrate court on 23 December 2023 for stealing two cattle valued at R20 000. Vuyo Sambane and Mnonisi Mcubhe were arrested by police on 20 December 2023  after they(police) received information that the men were loading two suspected stolen cattle  to be transported to an unknown destination. The men were arrested by Tsolo Stock Theft members. They were sentenced to 11 months imprisonment with an option to pay a fine of R20 000,00 each.

Also on 1 January 2024, during an operation conducted by Tsolo Stock Theft Unit in Ntshiqo, 3 cattle were impounded after they were found roaming without a herdsman. They were taken to the Tsolo municipality stock pound. They are estimated to be worth  R30 000,00. Police are seeking its rightful owner and are appealing to anyone who may have lost their stock to  contact the pound during office hours or to contact the Tsolo Stock Theft Unit. For purposes of stock identification, one must have his/her South African bar coded identity document with the stock document/s.

OR Tambo District Commissioner, Maj Gen Phumzile Cetyana has iterated that stock theft poses a huge challenge in the district as the area is vastly rural and cattle are left roaming, unattended. ‘We appeal to stock owners to work with police so that together we can overcome these challenges. The commitment and resilience displayed by members of the Stock Theft Units deserves commendation. We are warning people that opening false cases is a serious offence as this impacts on police resources which could have been utilised in other policing matters. There are dire consequences to those who open false cases,’ added Maj Gen Cetyana.