By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu
Two men who were intercepted while transporting 10 head of cattle suspected to have been stolen from a farm in West Nicholson area to Bulawayo have appeared in court for stocktheft.
Justine Tlou (25) of Zezani area in Beitbridge and Tsibang Sibanda (33) of Tuli area in Gwanda were intercepted in Kafusi area and were arrested following a high speed chase of about 30 kilometres from Manama area.
They were spotted by community members while transporting the animals along Nhwali- Manama Road who then alerted the police.
Tlou and Sibanda were not asked to plead when they appeared briefly before Gwanda magistrate, Miss Lerato Nyathi facing a stock theft charge.
She remanded them in custody to Monday.They are being represented by Mr McAllister Ncube of Mabhikwa and Partners.
Prosecuting, Mr Silent Shoko said the pair’s lawyer was arguing that his clients were over detained and wanted to tender in an application for their release.
“There is a debate on whether the accused person’s were over detained or not Your Worship. Their lawyer is arguing that his clients were over detained but the police insist that they weren’t therefore the lawyer wants to tender his application for their release.
“The investigating officer in this matter isn’t available today therefore can the accused persons be remanded in custody to Monday for deliberation on the matter,” he said.
Mr Shoko said Tlou and Sibanda committed the offence on January 7 at around 11PM and were arrested on the following morning.
“On 7 January Tlou drove 10 head of cattle from Tamba Farm in West Nicholson area to Nhwali area where he met his co accused Sibanda. They loaded the animals in a Mercedes Benz truck that was being driven by Wonderful Ncube.
“They were intercepted by police in Kafusi area around 11PM after a car chase while they were on their way to Bulawayo. They were invited to the police station for verification of the documents they were using to transport the animals. They were arrested on the following day around 1PM when the cattle were positively identified by the owner,” said Mr Shoko.
He said investigations by the police had shown that the accused persons had fraudulently acquired clearance forms which contradicted with the movements permit.
Mr Shoko said the pair had also tampered with the owner’s brand marks. He said Sibanda is on the police wanted list for stock theft. The stolen cattle are valued at $8 500. The Chronicle