WESTERN CAPE ANNUAL RURAL SAFETY AWARDS 2020
The Western Cape Stock Theft Committee, resorting under the RPO Western Cape, annually makes awards to the Best Member of a Stock Theft Unit and the Best Stock Theft Unit in the province. Agri Western Cape’s Rural Safety Policy Committee also makes an annual award to the Best Rural Safety Coordinator. The awards were handed out during Agri Western Cape’s annual dinner on 25 November.
Best member of a Stock Theft Unit
This year, the award was made to Sergeant TS Moletsane of the Beaufort West Stock Theft Unit for the fourth consecutive year. In the 2019/2020 financial year, Sergeant Moletsane investigated 58 cases of which 45 went to court with 66 arrests. In 34 of the 45 cases that went to court, convictions were reached. Lieutenant-Colonel Johan Smit, Western Cape coordinator of stock theft of the SAPS, says Sergeant Moletsane is a disciplined, dedicated, determined and hard-working member.
He always respects the complainants, suspects, accused, court officials, other members and his senior colleagues. He always presents himself extremely well and people admire his capabilities, his discipline and his enthusiasm to solve cases. Operations conducted by him are always properly planned and executed in the shortest time frames possible, with little resources and expenses. Investigations conducted by him are done properly and exceptionally well to secure that matters are placed on court roles and to secure convictions.
He realizes his objectives and responsibilities and gives only his best in order to achieve his goals. He believes in what he is doing and is proud to be associated with the unit. He is always willing to go far beyond the duties expected of him. He is always willing to assist, no matter what time of day or night. He never hesitates to work after hours and for long periods of time without remuneration or any complaints. He is always willing to assist his colleagues.
He will never leave a crime scene or processing of accused to go home before all the work has been completed. He is constantly seeking opportunities to expand his knowledge in his current field, because he is striving to be an expert on the subject of stock theft. He has a broad knowledge of the law and is directing each investigation according to it. Due to the way in which he conducts himself towards the public, other members, prosecutors, attorneys and magistrates, he is often praised for his professionalism.
Mr Jaco van den Berg, chairperson of the Western Cape Stock Theft Committee, says Sergeant Moletsane’s commitment to livestock producers deserves recognition. “Investigators of his caliber are an asset to the agricultural sector. We have only the highest regard and respect for the seriousness with which he does his job.”
Best Stock Theft Unit
The award goes to the Malmesbury Stock Theft Unit this year. The unit consists of 10 members and two administrative staff. The acting commander is Detective Warrant Officer Rudi Lourens. Between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020, the Unit received 284 cases and had a 71% detection rate. These included 175 stock theft cases with 65 arrests and 9 cases of endangered species theft with 15 arrests. Of 79 reported cattle theft, 72 were recovered, of 518 sheep theft, 101 were recovered, of 73 reported pig theft, 25 were recovered and of 15 reported poultry theft, 11 were recovered. See the successes that the Unit has achieved in court attached.
Mr Jaco van den Berg, chairman of the Western Cape Stock Theft Committee, says stock theft units are critically important role players in the livestock industry. “We would like to honor the Malmesbury Stock Theft Unit for their exceptional service to our producers and the sector. The Malmesbury unit’s successes speak of hard work and their loyalty to the producers in the area they serve, helps to strengthen the agricultural sector. We greatly appreciate the good cooperation we have with the Unit.”
DWO Rudi Lourens with Mr Louis Wessels (left), legal manager of Agri Western Cape and Mr Jaco van den Berg, chairman of the Western Cape Stock Theft Committee.
Best Rural Safety Coordinator
The award goes to Sergeant Sonia Conradie, Rural Safety Coordinator: Touws River She has carried out various awareness projects during the year such as school projects against the abuse of drugs and alcohol by minors and the aftermath of early school leaving, especially by farm children. Covid-19 caused its own problems that included famine and poverty. Sergeant Conradie was involved in gathering food to address the need. She did not watch from the sidelines, but became involved in identifying problem areas and helped hand out food parcels in towns and rural areas. She further strived to reach communities through pamphlets against alcohol abuse, domestic violence and sexual violence during the lockdown period, even after moving to lower levels.
She distributed approximately 5,895 pamphlets door to door in the past six months. She was also involved in the daily Covid-19 roadblocks where all movement of people and vehicles was monitored to control the spread of Covid-19. She took the opportunity to bring Covid-19 precautions to people’s attention. Her enthusiasm and willingness to get involved in town and rural communities in a difficult time with many unknown factors is to the advantage and honor of the SAPS. She is responsible for the town and rural safety areas in Touws River. Mr Mark Botha, vice chairman of the Agri Western Cape Rural Safety Policy Committee, says it is always an honour to acknowledge SAPS members for outstanding service. “Sgt Conradie serves the community in which she works unselfishly. She is an example to all of us who want to see our rural communities flourish. Her contribution is invaluable.”