Boost visibility, reduce stock theft

MINISTER of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula assured the community of Matatiele that police and soldiers’ visibility will assist in ending stock theft, which she said is concern to the community.

She was speaking at the hand-over of three classrooms in Caiphus Khoapa Junior Secondary School in Matatiele last Friday.

“I was informed that stock theft is a huge problem in Matatiele and surrounding areas but police and soldiers are here to prevent people coming to steal sheep and cattle,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.

“On Sunday, Lukholweni police from Matatiele, who were patrolling, were called to investigate a case of stock theft where 61 sheep had been stolen. On their way to the scene, they encountered a bakkie and a truck who opened fire on them,” said Eastern Cape SAPS spokesperson Captain Khaya Tonjeni. Tonjeni said police then sought backup.

One suspect was injured in the incident and was admitted to hospital. Tonjeni also added that four men were arrested and they will appear in Maluti Magistrate’s Court soon.

“Police recovered a pistol, 61 sheep and 40 goats.

“A truck that was used by the men was allegedly burned by the community while police were chasing suspects,” said Tonjeni. Police are still searching for the remaining three men who fled the scene.

Matatiele SAPS spokesperson Captain Raphael Motloung said Tabase station commander held a community meeting to end stock theft in Ntabelanga village recently. He said police are working hard with community structures to end stock theft.