Several arrested for livestock

Several arrested for livestock theft in Eastern Cape

There have been mounting concerns over crimes which have rocked the agricultural sector since the lockdown

Several arrested for livestock

The South African Police Service (SAPS) in King William’s Town have arrested four people suspected of stealing livestock from a farm in Jeffrey’s Bay on Saturday, 30 May 2020.

“At around 2:00, it is alleged that a farm owner contacted the police after he noticed suspicious people on his farm. Excellent teamwork between Humansdorp K9 and Jeffrey’s Bay police led to the arrest of the suspects traveling in a red Mazda Rustler bakkie on route R102 towards the direction of Jeffrey’s Bay”, said SAPS spokesperson Khaya Tonjeni.

On the back of the bakkie, police discovered five sheep with their legs tied with wires. A preliminary investigation led to the recovery of additional nine sheep also tied and hidden near the farm.

“Unfortunately, from the recovered stock of fourteen sheep, two were already dead. The estimated value of the stock is R53 800. The four suspects were arrested and a bakkie was confiscated for further investigation”, Tonjeni said.

Suspects expected in court

The four men aged between 20 and 50, were detained for stock theft with an additional charge of contravening the Disaster Management Act, and are expected to appear in the Humansdorp Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 1 June 2020.

Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga has commended the officers for their successful recovery.

 “We continue to discourage those who buy stolen meat, thus creating a supply and demand structure for stock theft. Police will have no option but to arrest the seller and the buyer for being an accessory to committed crime”, Ntshinga warned sternly.

Agricultural crimes on the rise

Under the lockdown, police have expressed concern over crime within the agricultural sector, which has been deemed vulnerable. The industry has been allowed to fully operate under level four.

The Freedom Front Plus has called vigilance in rural communities and said neighbourhood watch groups should be allowed to operate.

“The disconcerting increase in criminal activities makes it a matter of urgency to allow neighbourhood and farm watches to start functioning normally again to strengthen the hand of the police force in fighting crime”, party leader Pieter Groenewald has said.

“The FF Plus finds it incomprehensible that Police Minister Bheki Cele does not want to accept help from neighbourhood and farm watches while they function as the eyes and ears of the police and there is a good working relationship between them and the police.”