NELSPRUIT - In line with the Rural Safety Strategy of the SAPS which, inter alia, talks to the protection of rural and farming communities, brand-marking of livestock, dealing with stray animals, theft of stock as well as other concepts, the police management in Mpumalanga is elated to report an arrest of a 32-year-old man, believed to be a lawyer together with 11 accomplices for being in possession of suspected stolen cattle.
The man with his practice situated in Pretoria, Gauteng Province was arrested after police received information about the deal that had been planned. Members of the Stock Theft Unit at Middelburg then planned an operation to counter that, with the assistance of other units as well as a private security firm, Anti-Crime Security Unit (ACSU). They found two trucks fully loaded with cattle, while a third one was in the process of being loaded.
According to information some of the suspects fled from the scene, leaving behind only him (lawyer) and his father. The initial probe established that it was not for the first time that the community around Breyten suffered a big blow by losing cattle to thieves in the area.
It is also reported that during the theft of the cattle, two men and a woman who were looking after the cattle were attacked, had their hands as well as feet bound and kept captive, while they alleged (thieves) stole the cattle.
The three trucks, a bakkie that the suspect (legal practitioner) and his father had been using as well as cash to the tune of R95 000, found in the suspects' possession, were seized by police.
Subsequent to the arrest of the pair, leads were followed and a total of 10 other men, believed to be the suppliers who had fled the scene were nabbed. All the suspects aged between 34 and 53 will appear in court soon, facing theft of livestock and possession of stolen property charges.
The Provincial Commissioner of Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma said that police are always ready for any eventuality, people should not take chances thinking that because the country is under an election fever, the police may not, therefore, be vigilant on other crimes.
Source: South African Police Service