A young Cookhouse farmer is due to appear in a Port Elizabeth court after allegedly stealing sheep worth about R10-million.
It is alleged that between March 2012 and March 2014, Isak Keevy, of Cookhouse, leased sheep from surrounding farmers, then later sold them off unlawfully.
The matter is believed to be the biggest case of sheep theft in the Eastern Cape to date. Keevy, 35, faces charges of theft or alternatively fraud.
He was released on warning in the Somerset East Magistrate’s Court.
The matter was transferred to the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court, where he is due to appear on August 2.
According to the charge sheet, Keevy advertised in various media from about March 2012 his intention to lease sheep for farming purposes.
An agreement was reached for him to lease the sheep at R25 to R28.50 a sheep per month.
While Keevy was entitled to sell the produce, including the sheep’s wool and offspring, he had a duty to keep the core of the different flocks of sheep intact and to maintain them in the condition he received them in.
At the end of the agreement, he was to return the sheep in the same good condition.
State advocate Lise Keech said: “The sheep were let for the purposes of farming only.”
However, Keevy allegedly unlawfully advertised the sheep for sale.
It is alleged further that he then offered to once again lease the sheep from his new buyers.
“[Keevy] misappropriated the livestock by selling it off at rates and quantities that made it impossible for him to continue to meet his obligations towards the lessors and to be able to return their sheep,” the charge sheet reads.
By August last year, Keevy had allegedly sold or otherwise alienated all the sheep he had hired.
Kathryn Kimberley – HeraldLIVE