Just a month after law enforcement officers in pursuit of stolen cattle disrupted a wedding ceremony in Kanye, yet another couple at Thamaga village suffered the same fate last Wednesday.
The couple’s first leg wedding ceremony held at the bride’s home village of Thamaga turned sour after the police raided the ceremony, confiscated the beats suspected to be stolen, leaving the couple and their families in utter humiliation.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) intercepted the cattle as the bride’s family attempted to register the animals, as it is the procedure. Instead, the couple’s families are said to have watched in shock as the police confiscated the cattle and arrested the four men who claimed ownership of the beasts.
The raid by the police has left the groom red-faced. “I had an agreement with one of the suspects to buy the said cattle. Earlier that morning I went to Gasita village to collect the cattle and I suggested we should pass by Thamaga village Kgotla to register them first before I could go and present them as bogadi,” narrated the groom, Michael Mogojwa, in an interview.
“I had the shock of my life when the police told me that I had in my possession stolen cattle,” he added.
Mogojwa said what transpired embarrassed him, as the suspects claimed the cattle were theirs.
“I am so hurt, I nearly got arrested for theft whilst I thought the deal was genuine, luckily I had insisted we should pass by the Kgotla to register the cattle first, if not I could have been arrested for stock theft,” Mogojwa said. He said he had agreed with one of the suspects to sell him cattle and in exchange he would give him a Honda Fit car, which was also confiscated by the police during the suspects’ arrest.
“We had agreed that after registering and processing everything I would go and change the ownership of the car to one of the suspects. However, the police have since seized the car as investigations into the matter are still ongoing
“I am so done with this, I have decided to pay my bride price as cash because they have embarrassed me on my big day and nearly got arrested for stock theft,” he said.
Confirming the suspects’ arrest, public relations officer of the BPS, Dipheko Motube said the suspects were nabbed as they attempted to register and trick the system into clearing the animals.
He said the four men, who are all Batswana, are currently in police custody and face stock theft offence. They are Ketsaabame Tekanyo (50) of Gasita, Moemedi Oakantse Gaolaolwe (34) of Kanye, Kedigoletse Boitshwaro (26) of Dintsanyana settlement and Boitshepho Ramatokwane (19) of Sesung.
He stated that the suspects were found in possession of stolen beasts, which they failed to account for.
“Investigations into the matter are ongoing to establish how they got into possession of the cattle, but we have established that they were stolen from Gasita and Dintsanyana settlement near Seherelela in Ngwaketse West,” he said.
He pleaded with members of the public to be cautious at all times, especially when having ceremonies to avoid falling prey to cattle rustlers. He said stock theft is soaring countrywide with a number of stock theft suspects being arrested on a daily basis. Motube has also implored farmers to take responsibility of their cattle, by branding and ear marking them to curb escalating stock theft incidents.
He disclosed to have established that thieves target unbranded cattle hence making the police’s effort to curb the crisis a bit difficult especially that they continue to lose cases in high numbers at the courts.