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Covid-19 derails 150 goats theft trial

22 Jul, 2021 - 00:07 0 Views
Covid-19 derails 150 goats theft trial

The Chronicle

Thupeyo Muleya , Beitbridge Bureau
THE trial of a Beitbridge man accused of teaming up with fugitive businesswoman Sarah Chauke to steal 150 goats worth $663 000 around Lutumba and Tshapfutshe areas was yesterday deferred to August 3 in line with Covid-19 regulations.

On Tuesday, Cabinet resolved that courts be opened only for remand and urgent cases.

The matter was postponed after the State had completed leading its evidence from 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 5pm, 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, picked a spoor of the goats which led them 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 villagers searched the homestead and found Ndou slaughtering some of the goats while others had been skinned.

The villagers apprehended Ndou and called the police who swiftly attended the scene.

A total of 81 goats and nine carcasses 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 then 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]

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