Herded to jail

Christinah Motlhabane
CHARGED: Suspected stock thieves

Four suspected cattle rustlers were herded before Francistown Magistrates’ Court last week after being caught with six cows they could not account for.

The quartet were rounded up by the boys in blue at Gerald Estates Farms last Monday morning, the livestock in their possession valued at around P18,000.

The cops are hunting a fifth suspect, one Philip Mbune, and believe there are ten more missing cows still to be recovered.

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Charged with stock theft, Lister Mponda, 47; Obolokile Modase, 29; Freddy Balekang, 18; and Gofaone Mokoka, 40, were all remanded in custody during Wednesday’s brief arraignment.

The eldest of the suspects, Mponda, begged to be set free, noting he left his wife and children to fend for themselves back at the farm.

“It will be difficult for them, they need me. I am not a flight risk,” he said.

Modase, meanwhile, protested his innocence, stating, “I do not agree with being remanded because I did not commit this offence. I am also the breadwinner looking after my siblings. The police have had ample time to investigate, so this is my chance to go to work for my family.”

Similarly, Balekang argued he should not be jailed as the cows had nothing to do with him, while Mokoka said he was the sole provider for his family.

He also accused the cops of assaulting him during the arrest, adding they also threatened to hand out more beatings when they get him behind bars.

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All four suspects were left disappointed, however, with Magistrate Tshepo Magetse ruling it was too soon to entertain talk of bail.

Magistrate Magetse therefore remanded the accused persons in custody until next Monday (31st July), when their fingerprint records will be availed and it will be heard if they have any pending cases.

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