Pretoria – Four foreign nationals who were apprehended by the South African Police Service (SAPS) for possession of suspected stolen livestock and contravening the Immigration Act earlier this month, have been denied bail.
Limpopo SAPS spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Mamphaswa Seabi said the four were denied bail by the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court, which postponed their cases to April 29.
The four have been identified by SAPS as Petros Mbedzi, 41, Phenuel Ndou, 36, Hulisani Mbedzi, 36, and Bokans Mave, 36.
“The suspects were arrested at Nirvana N1 traffic circle outside Polokwane while driving an Isuzu bakkie with a trailer loaded with 52 goats and 4 sheep,” Seabi said.
“Police members from the corporate communication and administration services were busy with logistical duties when they spotted the said vehicle with four occupants. They stopped the vehicle and immediately called for police backup for assistance while interrogating the suspects about the origin of the livestock.”
Seabi said the suspects failed to produce proper documentations of the livestock and they were immediately arrested. Police also seized the vehicle and trailer.
“Preliminary investigations also revealed that the suspects were in the country illegally and the livestock was stolen from Zimbabwe and destined to be sold in Gauteng province,” Seabi said.
After the arrest of the four, SAPS officers conducted an operation in Gauteng province and subsequently managed to recover an additional 28 stolen goats which were kept at a plot in Vereeniging.
“Furthermore, the operation continued to Musina in Limpopo province resulting in 116 goats believed to be stolen from Zimbabwe also impounded in a farm. The total value of the livestock is estimated at R240 000,” Seabi said.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the livestock were illegally transported from Zimbabwe and kept at a farm outside Musina for brand-marking and later to be transported to Gauteng province.”
Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has commended the two officers who initially intercepted the suspected livestock thieves.
“If every police officer and members of the community can work like this, crime levels will be reduced drastically across the province,” Seabi said.