ANC councillor appears in court after alllegedly stealing cattle

Alex Matlala and Victor Hlungwani

Alex Matlala and Victor Hlungwani

An ANC ward councillor in Giyani and his brother made a brief appearance in the Thohoyandou magistrate's court last Thursday.

The councillor, Elias Ngoveni, 49, was remanded in custody until his next court appearance on February 27.

He is accused of stealing eight cattle at Pietboy village, near Thohoyandou, last week.

Ngoveni was arrested at his house in Mninginisi village near Giyani on Wednesday.

Police acted on a tip-off from members of the community that he was selling cattle.

Ngoveni's brother James, 39, and Limpopo health and social development manager Golden Shikwambane were also arrested.

All three appeared before the court on Thursday. Ngoveni's brother and Shikwambane were granted R2000 bail each.

Shikwambane was arrested for buying the stolen cattle from Ngoveni.

A source from the community said they became suspicious when they realised Ngoveni was selling cattle.

"We informed the police after we heard on the radio that some cattle were missing," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Thohoyandou police spokesman Captain Mashudu Malelo said Ngoveni stole the cattle and kept them in the bush for more than a week.

"We only managed to recover six of the eight cattle, and we believe the others had already been sold," he said.

Malelo appealed to the community to help with information to locate the other cattle.

Jerry Mdlovu, who also lost a herd of cattle, said he welcomed the work done by the police.

Meanwhile, police in Maake report that four men were arrested after they were found with suspected stolen cattle.

The suspects, aged between 25 and 40, will appear before the Maake magistrate's court tomorrow.