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Johannesburg – After 100 stolen cattle and calves were found on his farm, a top North West government official and his pastor were arrested. Some of the animals that were positively marked were given over to their owners and the remainder were taken to a pound while the pair were taken into custody. 

The suspicions are that farmers hired a chopper at the nearby farm to search for their stolen stud bull worth R120 000. Brigadier Sabata Mokgwaabone, North West Police Speaker, said the bull and cattle were reported stolen at Delareyville and Sannieshof Police Stations between 2 and 18 February 2021.

They were discovered at the suspect’s Barberspan farm outside Delareyville during the search. Subsequently, owners reported 11 cattle positively, while others were confiscated and brought to the Lichtenburg pound for further examination as their brand marks were manipulated. Investigation into the matter continues,” he said.

Six stolen Bonsmara stud cattle with a value of R189 000 were also confirmed to have been found on the official farm. The North West DA said the incidents demonstrate the police’s disqualification and lack of political will to investigate and remedy the theft of livestock. In most cases, the party said that farmers had to use their own money to do the job for which the police are legally responsible.

The DA has requested that the Hawks and SAPS urgently carry out an in-depth investigation into the livestock kept on other farms belonging to the accused to ensure that justice is done. The alarming pace at which rural crimes such as farm assaults, killings and theft of livestock continue shows once again that there is still nothing to implement a rural safety policy, as promised by Police Minister Bheki Cele,” the party said.”

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 Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, the North West Police Commissioner, congratulated the farmers, community members and police on their help in the recovery and eventual arrest of the suspects. On Monday, the two were scheduled to appear before the Magistrate’s Court of Delareyville to face a charge of being in possession of alleged stolen stock.

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