30 Apr 2014 15:10pm
OTJIWARONGO, 30 APR (NAMPA) Otavi magistrate Elvis Mwilima sentenced a man to three years imprisonment after he had pleaded guilty to stealing a sheep on Tuesday.
Elias Neibeb was arrested by members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) on Friday there as it was suspected that he had stolen a goat and a sheep.
The sheep was worth N.dollars 800, and the goat worth N.dollars 1 000.
The 33-year-old Neibeb made his first appearance in the Otavi Magistrates Court on Monday this week on two counts of stocktheft.
His hearing continued on Tuesday.
He was found not guilty on the count of stealing the goat after giving the court a satisfactory explanation that the goat belonged to him, and was only convicted and sentenced on the count of stealing the sheep.
It is alleged that Neibeb stole the two small livestock from Farm Klein in the Otavi district.
On Monday, he was informed of his rights, and opted to defend himself in court.
Public Prosecutor Leonard Tjiveze represented the State.
Tjiveze had asked the court to sentence Neibeb to three years in jail after he pleaded guilty to the count of stealing a sheep.
He said although Neibeb was a first-time offender and has two minor children, the offence of stocktheft is very serious and prevalent in the country, and in the Otavi area specifically.
The surrounding farmers in Otavi are targeted by livestock rustlers like him and it cannot be allowed, he stated.
Tjiveze added that since the Stock Theft Amended Act of 2004 does not make provision for a convicted person to pay a fine on a stocktheft charge, sentencing Neibeb to 36 months will send a clear message to all livestock rustlers to stop committing the crime.
The magistrate then sentenced Neibeb to three years imprisonment, of which six months were suspended for a period of five years on condition that Neibeb is not convicted of stock theft during the period of suspension.
Magistrate Mwilima later informed the Neibeb of his legal right to appeal against the conviction and sentence in within 14 days (from 29 April 2014) if he was not satisfied with the judgment.