Tebogo Msimanga |
The Schweizer Reneke Regional Court sentenced Veronica Mapule Mafolo 48), a former Member of Parliament in the North West Legislature, and Thabo Freddy Phutiyagae (36), to three years direct imprisonment on a charge of stock theft. The two were arrested following an incident that occurred on 12 January 2018, at a farm in Schweizer Reneke, whereat one of the farmers noticed fresh car tracks in his farm in the early hours of the morning.
North West National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Henry Mamothame said upon counting stock, a farmer realised that two Bonsmara calves were missing, and he subsequently alerted his brother to report the matter to the police. “The farmer was later called at the Vryburg Auction Kraals, where he positively identified his missing calves. Evidence led in court revealed that Mafolo pleaded with the farmer not to lay charges against her as it would dent her reputation as a member of Parliament”.
Mamothame said in aggravation of the sentence, the state prosecutor, Mpho Sephapo, urged the court to impose direct imprisonment on the accused as the offence they committed is prevalent in the province. Magistrate Paul Moeng agreed with the state and described the action by the duo as influenced by greed. He further indicated that stock-theft harm the farmer’s business and further destroys employment for farm workers.