Former MP and co-accused convicted of stock theft, jailed for three years

Former MP and co-accused have been jailed for stock theft. File picture: Pexels

Former MP and co-accused have been jailed for stock theft. File picture: Pexels

Published May 8, 2023


Cape Town – The Schweizer-Reneke Regional Court sentenced a former member of Parliament in the North West Legislature, and her co-accused to three years direct imprisonment on a charge of stock theft.

Veronica Mapule Mafolo, 48, and Thabo Freddy Phutiyagae, 36, were arrested following an incident that occurred on January 12, 2018, at a farm in Schweizer-Reneke, where one of the farmers noticed fresh car tracks on his farm in the early hours of the morning.

Upon counting his stock, he realised that two Bonsmara calves were missing, and he subsequently alerted his brother to report the matter to the police.

North West National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson, Henry Mamothame, said that the farmer was later called at the Vryburg Auction Kraals, where he positively identified his missing calves.

“Evidence led in court revealed that Mafolo pleaded with the farmer not to lay charges against her, as it would dent her reputation as a member of Parliament.

In aggravation of sentence, the prosecutor, Mpho Sephapo, urged the court to impose direct imprisonment on the accused as the offence they committed is prevalent in the province.

Magistrate Paul Moeng agreed with the State and described the action by the pair as “influenced by greed”.

The magistrate further said stock theft harms the farmer’s business and further destroys employment for farmworkers.

Meanwhile, the Director of Public Prosecutions in North West, advocate Rachel Makhari-Sekhaolelo lauded the prosecution team, Sergeant Masoko from the SAPS and other role-players for the successful conviction.

Stock theft is rife in our province and the criminal justice system will deal harshly with perpetrators of such offences without fear, favour or prejudice,” she said.