King Williams Town — Fifty three (53) cattle, 101 sheep and three (3) horses, who some of them were stolen, strayed and some lost were reunited with their owners after various anti stock theft interventions were effected.
These recoveries were fruits yielded between Provincial Commissioner's Imbizo in Maclear on 30 April 2019, a provincial stock raid between 24 -29 March 2019 and various operations in different clusters in the province.
Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lt Gen Ntshinga does not take stock theft lightly. "It is theft of livelihoods, national economy and threat to food security," she warned.
The following recoveries bear testimony to effectiveness of some of the interventions the Provincial STU effected to combat stock theft in the past two weeks.
Bluewater SAPS Constables, Metu and Lubelwana were patrolling on 12 May 2019 when they spotted a bakkie loaded with four (4) cattle. They stopped it and asked the driver about the cattle and his destination. The driver said he bought the cattle from a local farm.
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 male confessed to have sold the cattle to him. The suspect was arrested immediately and police charged him for possession of suspected stolen property.
The stockowners were assisted in opening three cases of stock theft. The suspect is expected to appear before East London Magistrate's Court on 14 May 2019.
In another unrelated incident, Mthatha stock theft with Vispol Mthatha received information about sheep hidden near the river at Ncise and followed up.
They recovered twenty four (24) sheep tied with wires and their owner, Mr Ncapayi of Lwandlane positively identified the sheep as his. They were stolen from the Kraal the previous night, 11 May 2019. The sheep were reunited with their bonafide owner and the case was solved.
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 fourteen (14) sheep with new earmarks straying and impounded them at Mount fletcher Stock pound.
In another incident, Mthatha Stock theft recovered Twelve (12) Cattle strayed at Mtyu A/A , Ngqeleni and all were impounded at Tsolo. Stockowners who have missing cattle to go and identify their stock from the one kept at Tsolo pound.
In another incident, one (1) horse was recovered straying at Mpharane location, Maluti and was handed to lawful its lawful owner, Mr Kadi Mohlomi of Ramohlakoana.
Maluti STU members proceeded to Avondale farms after receiving a tip off where they recovered fourteen (14) cattle and two (2) horses on route to Lesotho and eleven (11) cattle.
Two (2) horses were loaded to Matatiele stock pound whilst three (3) cattle are kept at Marareni's farm.
A follow-up was conducted by STU members at Thabamkoti (along Drakensberg Mountains where members recovered thirteen (13) cattle which were handed out to Mr Mothowanete Moshoeshoe their owner.
Early this month, fourteen sheep were recovered and handed to rightful owner after they were positively identified through beaming of photo images during Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner's Imbizo in Somerville, Maluti on the 30 April 2019. The complainant did not know that Stock Theft unit had already recovered his 63 sheep that were stolen during March 2019.
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.
Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner 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 acquiring stock or meat from stock thieves. "Let us not be accessory to crime, let us not create and support a market for stock theft," she warned.