Trio to appear in court for possession of crocodile

24 April 2023 | From Arrive Alive


Three male suspects between the ages of 20 and 35 are expected to appear before the Klerksdorp Magistrates’ Court today for contravention of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004).

The accused's court appearance emanates from their apprehension on Thursday afternoon, 20 April 2023, after Stilfontein Stock Theft and Endangered Species (STES) Unit members received information that a Nile crocodile was stolen from a crocodile farm in Hartebeesfontein. Immediate follow-up in conjunction with Nature Conservation officials, led the team to an abandoned farmhouse where a 2,5m long Nile crocodile valued at R25 000-00 was discovered hidden under tree branches. The suspects were arrested and Police also seized a vehicle (bakkie) that was used in the commission of the crime. The crocodile was then returned to its rightful owner.

In another separate incident investigated by Stilfontein STES, 30-year-old Thatho Nhlapo appeared before the Stilfontein Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 19 April 2023, for being in possession of suspected stolen cattle. He was remanded in custody until his next court appearance before the same court on Wednesday, 26 April 2023.

Nhlapo's court appearance followed his arrest on Monday, 17 April 2023, after a shepherd saw three males chasing two cows in an open field along the R509 road, close to Khuma. The shepherd contacted his employer who mobilised farmers in the area. Nlhapo was consequently arrested by the farmers and handed him over to the police. The other two suspects are still at large. Initial investigations determined that the cattle belong to a farmer in Free State Province. A total of five cattle were stolen from his farm, but two were found abandoned in the field, two were recovered from the suspects and one is still missing.

The Provincial Commissioner of North West, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, commended the police officers, Nature Conservation officials, farmers, and members of the community for their respective collaborations that led to these successes.

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