A former ANC MP is one of two people slapped with a jail term for stock theft in the North West.
Veronica Mapule Mafolo, 46, and Thabo Freddy Phutiyagae, 36, were on Monday sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by the Schweizer-Reneke regional court.
Mafolo, a former ANC MP, and Phutiyagae were arrested on January 12 2018 for theft at a Schweizer-Reneke farm, said North West National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Henry Mamothame
“One of the farmers noticed fresh car tracks on his farm in the early hours of the morning. Upon counting his stock, he realised two Bonsmara calves were missing and he alerted his brother to report the matter to the police.
“The farmer was later called to the Vryburg auction kraals where he positively identified his missing calves. Evidence led in court revealed Mafolo pleaded with the farmer not to lay charges against her as it would dent her reputation as an MP.”
In aggravation of sentence, prosecutor Mpho Sephapo urged the court to impose imprisonment as the “offence they committed is prevalent in the province”, Mamothame said.
Magistrate Paul Moeng agreed with the state, saying the duo’s crime was influenced by greed.
“He [Moeng] said stock theft harms farmers’ business and further destroys employment for farmworkers,” Mamothame said.
North West director of public prosecutions Rachel Makhari lauded the prosecution team for the successful conviction, saying: “Stock theft is rife in our province and the criminal justice system will deal harshly with perpetrators without fear, favour or prejudice”.
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