Cattle thieves seek recusal of the magistrate

THREE alleged cattle rustlers yesterday applied for the recusal of a Plumtree magistrate after they were refused bail.

Shelton Dube (21), Sibangiswani Ncube (48) and Gilbert Ncube face charges of cattle theft after allegedly stealing 18 head of cattle.

They appeared before Magistrate Joshua Nembaware.

The suspects, through their lawyer Nqobani Sithole, yesterday submitted a request to disqualify the magistrate.

Sithole said the magistrate’s bail decision was biased.

Nembaware set May 13 as the date to rule on the request.

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The State led by Roben Mukura alleged that on January 28 at Lydead Farm the trio hatched a plan to steal cattle from grazing paddocks.

After receiving a tip-off, the police intercepted the trio driving the cattle.

According to the police, at least 11,313 cases of stock theft were recorded last year.

“During the same period, a total of 1,150 arrests were made and a total of 5,471 suspects were convicted.

Last year, the police, in collaboration with the Directorate of Veterinary Services, carried out a campaign against livestock theft.

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