A police officer stationed in Beitbridge has been arrested for allegedly conniving with two people in an attempt to sell 27 cattle stolen from South Africa to the Cold Storage Commission in Bulawayo.
Patrick Gwete (34), a police officer based at Tuli police station in Beitbridge, Onius Ndou (46) and Leonard Mangavha (40) all of Swereki area under Chief Stauze, pleaded not guilty to stocktheft charges when they appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate, Mr Langton Mukwengi.
They were remanded out of custody to March 20 for continuation of trial. Beitbridge Area Prosecutor, Mr Johannes Tlou said on August 3 last year at around midnight, Ndou and Mangavha illegally crossed the Limpopo River into South Africa and stole 27 cattle valued at R244, 000 at Kongo Farm.
They then allegedly drove the cattle back into the country on the same day. Mr Tlou said the pair also bought seven other cattle on August 4 at a cattle auction in Gwanda.
They then allegedly loaded 15 of the stolen cattle and seven others that they had bought into a hired truck and transported them to the CSC abattoir in Bulawayo. Ndou and Mangavha allegedly used movement of animal permits supported by police stock clearance forms they had acquired at the public cattle auction.
It was not stated what they did with the remaining 12 cattle stolen from South Africa.
The court heard that on August 10 at around 6AM, the stock controller at the CSC abattoir, Mr Timothy Nare, discovered that the number of cattle Ndou and Mangavha had brought was more than those entered on the public auction permits.
He also noted that the cattle had different brand marks from those on the police clearance forms. Nare then contacted Ndou and also reported the matter at Donnington police station.
The prosecutor said Ndou then went to CSC Bulawayo where he collected the police stock clearance forms.
He then allegedly sought the assistance of Gwete who issued him with another stock clearance form with serial numbers matching the description of the stolen cattle and their brand marks.
Ndou and Mangavha then allegedly contacted one Constable Shoko at Donnington police station seeking assistance to clear the cattle at the CSC abattoir.
Ndou and Mangavha proceeded to Bulawayo where they were arrested by police from Donnington police station upon arrival and they implicated Gwete. State Media