King William's Town: As the festive season heightens, more operations have been effected since 17 December 2018 by Stock Theft Unit members who have been deployed to conduct way lay duties resulting in the following successes:
Two male suspects aged between 25 and 45 were arrested in Avondale for unlawful importation of twenty eight (28) sheep from Lesotho to South Africa as well as contravention of Animals Disease Act.
Mthatha Stock Theft Unit arrested one male suspect aged 29 for theft of twenty four (24) sheep. The suspect was issued with a warrant of arrest after failing to appear in court on the 27 April 2017 for a charge of possession of stolen sheep.
On 19 December 2018 Aliwal North Stock Theft Unit arrested a suspect aged 40 for theft of eighteen (18) sheep. A total of thirteen (13) of the stolen sheep were recovered and handed to the lawful owner.
Ngqeleni Stock Theft Unit arrested two (2) suspect aged 31 and 41 for theft of a horse after failing to prove ownership or identify person the horse was allegedly bought from.
Middelburg Stock Theft Unit at Wolwas Stock Holdings in Middelburg Eastern Cape, arrested a 22 year-old suspect for theft of one (1) goat after the goat was taken out of kraal and slaughtered.
Qumbu Stock Theft Unit recovered twelve (12) sheep straying at Zilandane location and were impounded at Qumbu stock pound until they can be positively identified by lawful owners with documents proving legitimate ownership. An inquiry has been opened.
Maluti Stock Theft Unit members recovered thirty eight (38) sheep held in an abandoned house at Hardenberg location, Maluti. All the sheep were positively identified and reunited with legitimate owners. No suspects arrested.
Mthatha Stock Theft Unit deployed twelve (12) members on patrols who successfully recovered two (2) goats suspected to have strayed and impounded them at Tsolo Stock pound.
Alice Stock Theft Unit recovered ten (10) sheep hidden in an unused house and handed them over to the complainant after positive proof of ownership. No suspects were arrested. Police investigations continue.
All suspects are expected to appear in court for various stock theft related charges next week while all stock owners who have missing stock are encouraged to visit local pounds with positive identification and positive proof of ownership.
Eastern Cape acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Swart welcomed the successes reported and encouraged Stock Theft Units to intensify the operation. "The work that we have already done is excellent and let's not drop our efforts. Eastern Cape is the food basket of the whole country in Agriculture, mostly livestock and wool production. Let's protect our economy. Thieves must be traced and arrested and livestock recovered daily must be impounded."
Appealing to Commanders he said "Let us take extra ordinary measures to curb theft of livestock in our Province as we all know that many criminals from other Provinces are back in this Province."
He also encouraged the community to report all stock theft related incident to the police.
Source: South African Police Service