LUTENDO LIVHEBE – MUDAU. The Molopo Magistrates’ Court postponed the bail application for seven suspects facings stock-theft-related charges to Tuesday, 15 November 2022, for a formal bail application. They are facing 5 preliminary charges of theft, failure to provide a satisfactory account of the possession of livestock, acquiring stock from persons whose places of residence are unknown, transporting livestock along the road without a certificate and absence of reasonable cause believing that the livestock has been properly acquired.

All seven suspects, Willem Petrus Boshoff (46), Carel Stephan Wallis (47), Ntlhothana Motswabangwe (33), Rapula Letsapa (25), Johannes Wessel (49), Simon Wessel (47) and Janine Hill (50), will remain in police custody until the court has made a ruling on their bail application. Their court appearance emanates from their arrest on 10 November 2022, after they were found in possession of suspected stolen livestock, with an estimated value of R500 000. Police reports reveal that the suspects were arrested, following a suspicious activity which was observed by a farmer, who notices a truck and bakkies, with a trailer carrying livestock.

He then notified other farmers around Ottoshoop, and they tracked the suspicious bakkie to a farm in Koenlambrechts farm between Mahikeng and Lichtenburg. Police were then notified, and the suspects were arrested while trying to leave the farm and 9 cattle were found at the back of the bakkie. A truck linked to the theft was also intercepted by the police carrying 18 cattle, which the driver failed to account for. Further investigations by the police led them to Windheuwel farm, and 14 suspected stolen livestock was discovered and taken by the police for further investigations. A total of 42 battles were discovered through a collaborative operation between farmers and the police.

The North West Director of Public Prosecutions has lauded the farmers and the police for their collaboration leading to the arrest of the suspects. “Stock theft is rife in our province and ours is to ensure that perpetrators are convinced, hence we have even appointed a senior public prosecutor to represent the state”, she concluded.

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