A high-ranking government official from North West, Gift Ramadie (50), and his employee, Goitsemodimo Modukanele (38), are in police custody after about 100 stolen cows and calves were found in their possession.
Ramadie, chief director at the North West department of education, will appear in court next week. This, after the part-time Barberspan farmer was apprehended last Friday along with Modukanele, a farmworker.
North West NPA spokesperson Henry Mamothame tells Food For Mzansi the matter has been postponed to Tuesday, 2 March for a bail application at the Delareyville magistrate’s court.
The suspects will, however, remain in police custody until their next court appearance.
Cattle worth R300 000
The arrest followed after farmers from the area hired a private chopper to locate a stud bull, with an estimated value of R120 000, and six stud Bonsmara cattle worth R189 000.
The stolen livestock were found on one of Ramadie’s properties outside Delareyville.
The stolen livestock were reported in separate incidents at the Delareyville and Sannieshof police stations between 2 and 18 February 2021.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwaabone 11 animals were positively identified by their owners.
“Others,” he says, “were seized and taken to Lichtenburg pound for further investigation as their brand marks were tampered with. Investigation into the matter continues.”
North West police commissioner lieutenant-general Sello Kwena congratulated the farmers, members of the community and the police for their cooperation in the matter.
‘Attack on life and liberty’
Meanwhile online media personality Sihle Ngobese, who goes by the name of Big Daddy Liberty, took to YouTube to describe the stock theft incident as yet another indication that the state and political elites are part of the problem, and not the solution.
“These political elites are not your friends, especially when you are in the agricultural sector. If anything, they are clearly involved and complicit in the attack on our farming communities. This case is but one example of what you will find are many more,” he says.
Ngobese alluded that he comes from a farming background and therefore understands the impact of stock theft on farmers.
“I understand what it means when a few sheep start disappears and how devastating that is to a bottom line. I understand what that means, and it is an attack on life, liberty and property rights,”
He says what farmers and farming community needs to understand is “politicians, political elites and government are not your friend. You are better of rallying among yourselves.”