DURBAN - Investigations into sheep stolen from a farm in Winterton at the start of December resulted in the arrest of suspects, two of whom were police officers.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said that on Monday at 1pm the Estcourt Stock Theft Unit and a private security company carried out an operation in the Winterton area, western KwaZulu-Natal, after police received information about sheep that had been stolen from a farm in Winterton between December 1 and 12, 2021.
Gwala said a teenager aged 16 and Xolani Mazibuko, 29, were questioned regarding the stolen stock.
“The investigation led the police to a home of a police officer stationed at Winterton, Constable Nkosinathi Ngubane, 31, and he was questioned,” Gwala said.
“The team proceeded to the home of Constable Mlungisi Mshengu, 37, where three stolen sheep were found in a chicken pen.”
Gwala said the sheep were identified by the owner.
The two police officers are stationed at Winterton SAPS.
“All the four accused were placed under arrest and charged with stock theft. They all appeared before the Colenso Magistrates' Court today (Wednesday). They were granted a bail of R2 000. The matter was adjourned to January 20, 2021,” Gwala said.
She added that the arrest was testimony to the fact that police will leave no stone unturned when a crime has been committed.
“We will not tolerate police officers who are involved in criminal activities and hide behind the police badge,” Gwala said.
Last month police gave the following tips for livestock owners for the festive season, when livestock thefts rise:
- Monitor and count your livestock regularly.
- Report all stock theft cases immediately to the SAPS.
- Keep a controlled livestock register.
- Mark your livestock according to the Animal Identification Act.
- Prevent stolen livestock from being hidden on your property; stock posts serve as ideal overnight stopovers to hide stolen livestock.
- Loading ramps in paddocks or on farms away from supervision should be kept locked or obstructed at all times.
- Livestock owners should keep all fences and gates in working order to protect their livestock.
- Employees should be trained to pay attention to irregularities.