Police in Beitbridge are out in full-force pursuing a business woman who is believed to have orchestrated the theft of over 150 goats worth $663 000 around Lutumba and Tshapfutshe areas, in Ward 5.
Sarah Chauke, of Juta village, who runs a bar at Lutumba Business Centre, is alleged to be the brains behind the stealing of goats that she would slaughter together with cabal and smuggle the meat to South Africa where there is a ready market.
A goat is sold for between R500 and R1000 on the local market and the same attracts anything above R5000 in the neighbouring country.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena said that Chauke went into hiding on Monday afternoon when the net closed in on her.
She said so far, they have arrested her accomplice, Charles Ndou and recovered 81 goats and nine carcasses all worth $344 450.
Insp Mangena said they were yet to recover 60 other goats from the suspects.
“Initial indications are that on Sunday (July 11), the two complainants penned off their 150 goats to Tshapfutshe grazing lands under Beitbridge East constituency,” she said.
“On the same date at around 5 pm they proceeded to the grazing area in search of the goats but they failed to locate them.
They then made a follow up on the next morning with the help of other villagers, and in the process they picked a spoor of the goats and followed it up to Chauke’s homestead”.
Insp Mangena said upon arrival at Chauke’s homestead they found the goats in her pen.
She said soon after realising she had been cornered, the woman drove off at high speed a grey Nissan caravan.
A further search of the homestead by the villagers led to the discovery of Ndou who was in the process of slaughtering and skinning some of the goats.
“The villagers, then apprehended Ndou and called the police who swiftly attended the scene.
A total of 81 goats were recovered from Chauke’s pen and carcasses of nine others which had already been slaughtered,” said Insp Mangena.
She said during the interrogations, Ndou indicated that they would sell stolen goats on both the local and South African market.
Insp Mangena said further investigations into the case were underway.
She said anyone with information on the whereabouts of Chauke should contacts the nearest police station.
“We will use all the resources to book so that we account for the suspect. At the same time we want to encourage people to pen their livestock and also to brand them.
This makes the identification processes easier whenever we recover any stolen livestock,” she said. -Chronicle