A Tonota farmer, Androcles Ndlovu, last week appeared before Regional Magistrate Lorraine Makati Lesang in Francistown to answer to three counts of stock theft.
According to the particulars of the offence on the 15th of November in 2007, Ndlovu and the other suspect, who has since been apprehended, were found near Thanasanku lands near Tonota Village in the Central District where they were in possession of three slaughtered beasts in their vehicle.
The beasts were suspected to have been stolen.
The Police officer, who was part of the arrest team, gave evidence in court that they had been tipped of about Ndlovu being allegedly involved in stock theft. He said that while they were patrolling at night at the Tonota lands, they met Ndlovu who was driving a vehicle and as they stopped him, he stopped and got out of the vehicle and he then absconded with his partner in crime.
“In the back of his vehicle, we found hides and cattle meat which we confiscated as part of the evidence,” he said.
The officer went on to say that the accused was only arrested later and his co-accused was never arrested. However, the accused has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. During cross examination, his lawyer, Owen Nsala of MCM Moseki Attorneys, maintained that the evidence given by the officer is insufficient to link his client to the said crime as the culprit was not arrested immediately ┬áand further argued that the culprit escaped in the dark of the night therefore they could not clearly identify him.
“My client will go on to tell this court that, during that fateful night, he had lent his vehicle to one Ray Moloi and he never drove the vehicle during the same night,” Nsala argued.
However, the officer stood by his statement that although it was at night, he could see clearly that Ndlovu and the other culprit were the ones who were driving the vehicle and who stopped the car, absconded and left the vehicle.
The state will call more witness and the case is to continue on the 8th of September this year.
Prosecution is represented by state Prosecutor David Pitlagano from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
The accused is currently on bail.