Two men were arrested last Wednesday for contravening the Stock Theft Act 12 of 1990 after they were implicated in the theft of goats worth N$62,000 at the informal settlement of Donkerhoek in Khorixas in Kunene Region.
The suspects, Simon Awiseb, 47, and his co-accused Elvin Tjiveze, 26, appeared in court and case CR27/03/2018 was opened against them for the alleged theft of 30 goats.
A separate case of possession of cannabis was also opened against them after cannabis was found at the scene where goats were recovered. The two suspects appeared in court last Thursday and their case was postponed to May 30. No bail was granted to the duo.
According to Khorixas Police Station Commander, Inspector Hiskia Nuuyoma, the pair is believed to be behind a spate of incidents in which the farming community of the north-western area has been under siege since last December. “Since last year’s festive season they troubled the farmers in the area but we managed to arrest them with the assistance of the community in the early hours of last Wednesday,” Nuuyoma told New Era. A 15-year-old arrested last month for stock theft was said to have worked with the group.
Out of the 30 goats only 18 were recovered last week, according to Nuuyoma.
“These men were involved in several acts of stock theft. They came to Khorixas to buy liquor and other necessities then they travelled back to the area where they kept the goats,” Nuuyoma said.
The Khorixas police chief warned local farmers not to leave their livestock herds attended only by guarding dogs but rather to employ herders otherwise they will be susceptible to stock theft.
“We have cautioned farmers to take care of their livestock by having herders.”
The police chief said when farmers employ a herder there must be mutual trust between them and herders must be paid on time as there were incidents where herders collaborated with thieves to steal from their employers as they had not been paid for several months.
“Failure to pay one’s employee can lead them to steal or collaborate with others to steal your goats so please do pay your herders on time,” advised Nuuyoma.
Eddie Tsibeb, the 62-year-old owner of the 30 goats stolen, told New Era he offered a reward of N$1,000 for any information that could lead to the whereabouts of his missing livestock and both the police as well as the local community were helpful in recovering the goats.
“The condition of the goats was terrible as they were tied up for weeks. It was really bad,” he said.