Five plead guilty to livestock theft

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Matheus Hamutenya
Keetmanshoop

Five of the seven suspects arrested on Saturday with 20 karakul sheep carcasses yesterday pleaded guilty in the Bethanie Magistrate’s Court.

The other two suspects have been let off the hook, as they are minors aged 16.
State prosecutor Adriana Sangunji informed New Era the five pleaded guilty to possession of suspected stolen stock during their first court appearance at Bethanie yesterday.

Sangunji said the suspects pleaded with the court for the case to be finalised as soon as possible, and the charges against the two minors aged 16 were withdrawn so that the case can continue.

The hearing was remanded to today for sentencing.

The suspects thought they had hit the jackpot after slaughtering 20 karakul sheep at farm Noupoort in the Bethanie district, but they were caught red-handed by the police with the suspected stolen stock in their vehicle before they could make a getaway to Keetmanshoop.

It is alleged the seven suspects on Saturday afternoon went to farm Noupoort in the Bethanie district and slaughtered 20 karakul sheep, which they loaded into a vehicle, after which they drove from the farm to Keetmanshoop, but were ambushed by the police on the B4 main road, where they were all arrested.

The carcasses are valued at N$24 000 according to //Kharas acting crime investigations coordinator, Detective Chief Inspector Coleen Brandt. Brandt said all the seven suspects arrested are male and are between the ages of 16 and 40, and that the suspects might have been aware that the owner of the farm is not in the country at the moment and thus took a chance.

“This is a commercial farm in the Bethanie district and the owner was not at the farm at the time of theft as he is in South Africa on holiday,” she said.

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