Sunday 27 January 2019


TWO men who were intercepted while transporting 10 head of cattle suspected to have been stolen from a farm in West Nicholson area to Bulawayo have been released from custody after a magistrate ruled that they were over detained by the police.

Justine Tlou (25) of Zezani area in Beitbridge and Tsibang Sibanda (33) of Tuli area in Gwanda applied for their release through their lawyer Mr McAllister Ncube of Mabhikwa and Partners.

Gwanda magistrate, Miss Lerato Nyathi ordered the pair’s release saying the defence council had proved that they had been over- detained.

In his submissions Mr Ncube said his clients were arrested at night on January 7 and were brought to court in the afternoon on January 10.

“I’m applying for the release of my clients Your Worship as they were over detained by the police at Guyu Police Base. According to the Constitution of the country if someone is over detained without a warrant of over detention they must be released immediately. My clients were arrested on January 7 around 11PM and they were only brought to court on January 10 after 48 hours had elapsed.

“Even the Form 242 document which the police compiled to request remand for my clients is written that they were intercepted and were arrested after a high speed chase with the police. This shows that they were arrested upon being caught. The police could have recorded in their detention book and occurrence register that my clients were arrested on 8 January but they could have merely entered that date to avoid charges of over detention,” he said.

The investigating officer in the case Assistant Inspector Butho Mazibuko said Tlou and Sibanda were intercepted on January 7 and were taken to the police station for verification of the animals they were transporting.

He said the pair was only arrested the following day after police had discovered that the cattle had been stolen from a farm in West Nicholson area.

Ass Insp Mazibuko said just because Tlou and Sibanda had been taken to the police station did not mean they had been arrested hence they were not over detained.

“The general term when someone is brought to the police station is that they have been arrested but in this case they had not been arrested. We didn’t arrest them immediately as we hadn’t received a report of stock theft and we hadn’t received information on who the owner of the stolen cattle was. They were brought to the police station for verification and were arrested on the following day after investigations had been carried out,” he said.

Prosecuting, Mr Silent Shoko said Tlou and Sibanda were intercepted in Kafusi area on January 7 after a high speed chase of about 30 kilometres from Manama area.
He said Tlou drove 10 head of cattle from Tamba Farm in West Nicholson area to Nhwali area where he met his co accused Sibanda.

“They loaded the animals in a Mercedes Benz truck that was being driven by Wonderful Ncube. They were spotted by community members while transporting the animals along Nhwali-Manama Road who then alerted the police,” he said.

Mr Shoko said investigations by the police had shown that the accused persons had fraudulently acquired clearance forms which contradicted with the movements permit. The stolen cattle are valued at $8 500. Chronicle


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