By Adam Hartman
AT least 7 971 cattle worth approximately N$22,5 million were reportedly stolen in Namibia from January to October this year and police made 776 arrests in connection with these thefts, which haave led to 1 274 charges related to stock theft.
Only 1 935 of the stolen cattle have been recovered (alive or as meat), providing a recovery rate of about 25%.
Police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi expressed concern at the number of stock theft yesterday when he gave the statistics per region to The Namibian as part of a probe into the latest incident at a farm near Windhoek in which seven animals were hacked to pieces. These were not included in the statistics.
The hardest hit regions are Erongo (1 135 animals), Hardap (945), //Karas (861), Omaheke (833) and Kunene (814). Oshana region experienced 119 cattle thefts, making it the region with the least number of stolen animals. At least 25 of these were recovered.
“It seems there may be a decrease in incidents compared to last year, but we must remember that there are still statistics for two more months to be added to this year’s figures, so it could be even more,” said Kanguatjivi.
Marice Vermeulen became the latest victim of stock theft. On Monday he found seven cows and oxen hacked to pieces at one of his cattle posts just outside Windhoek on the airport road.
“It’s indescribable what goes through the mind. Anger and disappointment. One is knocked flat to the ground to think we live in a country where this happens. One loses respect for the system and law enforcement because the criminals are treated with kid gloves and not brought to book, or are out on bail.
They can just carry on with their crimes,” Vermeulen said. More....