MOUNT FLETCHER – In the past two days different approaches to address gender based violence GBV and stock theft were embarked upon within the Joe Gqabi District.
While the Junior management core (JMC) focused on the softer approach through crime awareness, Operation “CATCH UP” ran concurrently during the same period focusing on the harder crime combating approach.
This was done through a cross border operation that focused at the following areas identified as Hotspots, KatKop, Malandini, Gorge and Ngqayini localities.
The area is prevalent in crimes stock theft, murder, house robbery of which committed using illegal fire arms, drugs and dangerous weapons. Members from different stations and specialized units formed part of the operation.
Suspects from Lesotho, allegedly steal stock on horseback, fully armed during the night. Small stock such as sheep and goats get stolen but during the day cattle and horses are stolen from the grazing fields.
Victims/stock owners are sometimes shot and fatally wounded during the commission of these crimes. The stock is driven through obscure routes as far as the forest and kept at abandoned houses. Bakkies are also utilized to transport the stolen stock.
After research was done led by the acting District Commissioner Brigadier Rudolph Adolph a link between the stock theft and gender base violence was identified. It usually happens this way.
After the owner of the stock has passed away, his wife is left behind with the rest of their stock. Thieves will see this ‘ vulnerable ‘ woman and will come at night to steal, sometimes repeatedly or in the worst case come to collect the rest of the stock, threatening the wife or her life.
The vulnerable woman at that stage has no option but to let go and save her life.
Seen in the light of all the above, cross border operations should be done on a regular basis to stop this pattern and thieves on their tracks.
During the operation a male suspect, aged 26 years old, was arrested for an unlicensed fire-arm while a 29-year-old man was arrested for suspected stolen stock.
18 Cattle and 8 sheep including a Toyota vehicle was recovered.
The acting District Commissioner, Brigadier Rudolph Adolph commended the members and spesialized units for the successes. “We will continue with these operations and our multi-disciplinary operations to thwart stock theft as well as protection of our borders. The perpetrators will feel our presence and the stock owners will and must feel safe again.
Source: South African Police Service