TWO CATTLE rustlers in Lupane have been slapped with a 20-year jail term each after they were convicted of stealing 11 head of cattle belonging to a fellow villager.
Bongani Ncube (27) and Obert Ncube (32) who are brothers from Phulula Village in Lupane, had pleaded not guilty to stocktheft charges when they appeared before Lupane magistrate Aelene Munamati on Wednesday. However, they were convicted after a full trial and sentenced to 20 years in jail each.
Eight years were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
The prosecutor Sanders Sibanda told the court that on June 30 this year, the complainant Njabulo Tshuma of Shabulanyana village, lost 11 head in the grazing area. One cow was sold to one Douglass Malandu by the duo, a businessman who owns a butchery at Kenmore business centre in the district.
It is alleged that before Malandu could slaughter the beast, it escaped and returned to its original owner Tshuma. The following day Malandu tracked it down until he found it at Tshuma’s home.
He was told that the cow was one of the 11 head belonging to Tshuma that had been stolen. Malandu disclosed that he bought the cow from Bongani.
The matter was reported to the police who went to Bongani’s home and found the other 10 head.
Bongani’s wife implicated Obert. Bongani claimed the cattle were given to him by a villager to keep.
Obert also denied any knowledge of the theft, but investigations proved that they had stolen the cattle, leading to their arrest.
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