Hearty congratulations to Sgt T S Moletsane of the Beaufort West Stock Theft Unit who was awarded as the Best Member of a Stock Theft Unit - for the fourth consecutive year!
Sgt Moletsane received this award on 25 November 2020 during Agri Western Cape's annual dinner. The Western Cape Stock Theft Committee, resorting under the RPO Western Cape, annually gives awards to the Best Member of a Stock Theft Unit and the Best Stock Theft Unit in the province. Agri Western Cape's Rural Safety Policy Committee also provides an annual award to the Best Rural Safety Coordinator.
During the 2019/2020 financial year, Sgt Moletsane investigated 58 cases resulting in 66 arrests - 45 of the cases went to court, and in 34 of these cases convictions were achieved. Lt-Col Johan Smit, the SAPS's coordinator of stock theft in the Western Cape says that Sgt Moletsane is a disciplined, dedicated, determined and hard-working member. He always respects the complainants, suspects, accused, court officials, other members and his senior colleagues. He presents himself extremely well and people admire his capabilities, discipline and enthusiasm to solve cases. The operations he conducts are always properly planned and executed in the shortest time possible, using few resources. His investigations are done properly to ensure that matters are placed on court rolls and to secure convictions. He never hesitates to work after hours and for long periods of time without any complaints or remuneration.
He is always willing to assist his colleagues. He will never leave a crime scene or the processing of accused to go home before all the work has been completed. He is constantly seeking opportunities to expand his knowledge in his current field, because he is striving to be an expert on the subject of stock theft. He has a broad knowledge of the law and is directing each investigation according to the law. Sgt Moletsane is often praised for his professionalism due to the way in which he conducts himself towards the public, his colleagues, prosecutors, attorneys and magistrates.
Mr Jaco van den Berg, chairperson of the Western Cape Stock Theft Committee, said that Sgt Moletsane's commitment to livestock producers deserves recognition.
"Investigators of his calibre are an asset to the agricultural sector. We have only the highest regard and respect for the seriousness with which he does his job,” he said. Magistrates, often praise him for his professionalism.
Best Stock Theft Unit
The Malmesbury Stock Theft Unit was the 2020 winner. This Unit has ten police members and two administrative staff members, under the command of D/W/O Rudi Lourens. For the period between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020, the Unit received 284 cases and had a 71% detection rate. These included 175 stock theft cases with 65 arrests and nine cases of endangered species theft resulting in 15 arrests. Of the 79 heads of cattle that were reported stolen, 72 were recovered; of the 518 sheep that were stolen, 101 were recovered; of the 73 reported pigs that were stolen, 25 were recovered and of the 15 reported poultry that were stolen, 11 were recovered.
We would like to honour the Malmesbury Stock Theft Unit for their exceptional service to our producers and the sector. The Malmesbury Unit’s successes speak of hard work and their loyalty to the producers in the area they serve, helps to strengthen the agricultural sector. We greatly appreciate the good cooperation we have with the Unit.
Best Rural Safety Coordinator
Sgt Sonia Conradie, the Rural Safety Coordinator of Touws River was given the Best Rural Safety Coordinator award for 2019/2020. She carried out various awareness projects during the year such as school projects against the abuse of drugs and alcohol by minors and the aftermath of early school leaving, especially by farm children.
COVID-19 caused its own problems that included famine and poverty. Sgt Conradie launched an initiative to collect food to address the need. She did not watch from the side-lines, but became involved in identifying problem areas and helped to hand out food parcels in towns and rural areas.
Sgt Conradie further strived to reach communities by distributing pamphlets against alcohol abuse, domestic violence and sexual violence during the lockdown period, even after moving to lower levels. She distributed almost 6000 pamphlets door to door in a six-month period. She was also involved in the daily COVID-19 roadblocks where the movement of people and vehicles was monitored to control the spread of COVID-19.
She took the opportunity to bring COVID-19 precautions to people’s attention. Her enthusiasm and willingness to get involved in town and rural communities in a difficult time with many unknown factors, were to the advantage and honour of the SAPS. She is responsible for the town and rural safety areas in Touws River.
Mr Mark Botha, vice chairman of the Agri Western Cape Rural Safety Policy Committee, says it is always an honour to acknowledge SAPS members for outstanding service. “Sgt Conradie serves the community in which she works unselfishly. She is an example to all of us who want to see our rural communities flourish. Her contribution is invaluable.”
Congratulations to all the recipients!
Jaco van den Berg
Chairman of the Western Cape Stock Theft Committee
Sgt T S Moletsane of the Beaufort West Stock Theft Unit who was awarded the Best Member of a Stock Theft Unit
Sgt Sonia Conradie, the Rural Safety Coordinator of Touws River was awarded as the Best Rural Safety Coordinator for 2019/2020
D/W/O Rudi Lourens with Mr Louis Wessels (left), legal manager of Agri Western Cape and Mr Jaco van den Berg, chairman of the Western Cape Stock Theft Committee