KHORIXAS - Magistrate Muchali Jermaine Muchali recently issued a fine of N$3000 or 18 months imprisonment to Uatjindisa Tjambiru (55), for possessing a herd of six stolen goats that the accused hid in his corrugated iron zinc shack at Donkerhoek informal settlement in Khorixas. Tjambiru paid the fine.
Tjambiru was found guilty of possession of stolen stock, contravening section 3 read with section 1, 11 (a), 15 and 17 of Stock Theft Act 12 of 1990. The six goats worth N$7500 were stolen and taken to Khorixas from farm Okazeka Pos situated more than 50 kilometres from the northwestern town. Tjambiru’s defence during the mitigation process said he was a father of eleven children of which six attend school and that he is responsible for the grandchildren who live with him and his wife at Zebracop.
His defence also told the court he is the sole breadwinner of the family and eked a living from his small stock farming. The Khorixas Magistrate’s Court was also informed that Tjambiru is unemployed and depended on goat farming to feed his large extended family. Another mitigation cited was that he is hypertension and suffers from back aches as a result of a previous incident he was involved in.
The accused’s defence said Tjambiru is remorseful and begged for mercy adding that he spent a year and one month in police custody while awaiting trial as he was initially denied bail.
All six goats were recovered and have since been returned to the lawful owner. State prosecutor Pendapala Tuhafeni Hamunyela said goat theft is prevalent in the Khorixas area. “Offences under the Act 12 of 1990 are rather prevalent in Khorixas. What is aggravating is the drought that has struck Khorixas because of less rainfall, therefore the farmers are counting carefully on their stocks for survival,” said the state prosecutor.
Hamunyela said although the accused is not charged of stock theft, an inference can be drawn from how the goats were found in a closed shack. Hamunyela asked the court that during sentencing, it should not only consider the personal circumstances of the accused but the nature of the offence and public interest.
State prosecutor asked for N$3000 or two years imprisonment of which N$1000 or a year is suspended for three years on condition that Tjambiru is not convicted of suspected stolen stock.
Muchali taking into consideration the prosecution’s case and the arguments presented by Tjambiru’s lawyer imposed a sentence of N$3000 or 18 months in jail.