Naked 'sheep thief' shot
Police say it is not clear whether the man's intention was to engage in sexual activity with the animal or to steal it. The victim claims he hid in the kraal and took off all his clothes as some kind of camouflage, because he was hiding from thugs who wanted to mug him
A LULEKANI, Phalaborwa, man is recovering in hospital after he was shot by a sheep owner on Sunday morning.
The man was shot after the farmer suspected him of trying to steal his sheep.
The sheep owner spotted the man - who was allegedly stark naked, among his flock - at about 4am on Sunday.
The farmer shot and wounded the man.
Details of the incident are still sketchy, but the 50-year-old victim claimed he was hiding from thugs who wanted to mug him.
The victim claimed he hid in the kraal and took off all his clothes as some kind of camouflage.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mohale Ramatseba said the sheep farmer woke up because his animals were making a racket, only to find a naked man inside the kraal.
The farmer produced a firearm and shot the man in the shoulder and leg.
"It is still unclear what actually transpired. There are different versions to the incident," said Ramatseba.
He said the victim told them that he was being followed by people who wanted to rob him.
"The man told us he ran into the kraal and decided to undress so that the would-be muggers would not notice him, but the sheep farmer said he found the man holding one of his animals," Ramatseba said.
He said it was not clear whether the man's intention was to engage in sexual activity with the animal or to steal it.
"It is currently difficult for us to verify if indeed there were people following the man because we cannot find proof that he was fleeing from anyone, but the fact that he was found naked in a kraal full of animals is cause for concern," he said.
Ramatseba said they had opened an attempted murder case against the owner of the sheep, while the victim was charged with attempted stock theft.
He said a docket had been forwarded to the director for public prosecutions for a decision.
The victim was yesterday reported to be recovering in hospital.