Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
THE trial of a Beitbridge man who is accused of teaming up with fugitive businesswoman Sarah Chauke to steal 150 goats worth $663 000 around Lutumba and Tshapfutshe areas, in Ward 5 was yesterday deferred to August 3 in line with Covid-19 regulations.
The matter was postponed soon after the State had completed leading its evidence from the witnesses.
Charles Ndou of Juta village denied the charges when the trial opened before Beitbridge resident magistrate Mr Takudzwa Gwazemba.
He was remanded in custody.
Prosecuting, Ms Fezile Mpofu told the court that on 11 July two complainants from the Tshapfutshe area penned 150 goats at grazing lands under the Beitbridge East constituency.
On the same date at around 5 pm, they proceeded to the grazing area in search of the goats but they failed to locate them.
They then made a follow-up on the next morning with the help of other villagers, and in the process, they picked a spoor of the goats and followed it up to Chauke’s homestead.
The court further heard that upon arrival at the woman’s homestead they found the goats in her pen.
After realising she had been cornered, Chauke drove off at high speed in a grey Nissan caravan.
The State said a further search of the homestead by the villagers led to the discovery of Ndou who was in the process of slaughtering and skinning some of the goats.
The villagers apprehended Ndou and called the police who swiftly attended the scene.
A total of 81 goats and nine carcasses all worth $344 450 were recovered from Chauke’s homestead.
Chauke who runs a bar at Lutumba Business Centre is alleged to be the brains behind stealing goats with her cabal, which they would slaughter and smuggle the meat to South Africa where there is a ready market.
An average goat is sold for between R500 and R1000 on the local market and the same attracts anything above R5000 in the neighbouring country. [email protected]