U’hage farmer in court for cattle shooting

A Uitenhage farmer accused of shooting 11 roaming cattle on his farm last week appeared briefly in court yesterday.

A neatly dressed Carlo Voigt, 37, appeared before magistrate Joseph Jasson in the Uitenhage Magistrate’s Court.

He allegedly killed eight cattle on a Kruisrivier farm and wounded three others.

Voigt faces charges of malicious damage to property, contravention of the Animal Protection Act and the illegal discharge of a firearm.

Jasson postponed the matter to July 4 for police to finalise the ballistics report.

Defence attorney Andre Dorfling said later: “We will only have insight into the charges my client faces in court once the state has completed its investigation and we get a copy of the case docket.

“What I can say at this stage is that my client is a vegetable farmer and has about 30 people in his employ, who rely on his farming business as much as he does to make a living.

“We are dealing with roaming cattle on a vegetable farm. One does not have to speculate what the outcome could be.”

Dorfling pointed out that there had been newspaper reports about the increasing problem of stray animals, especially in Uitenhage.

South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) Uitenhage region chairman Nceba Plaatjies said they had held a meeting with farmers in the area yesterday instead of filling the courtroom.

On Tuesday, Plaatjies had vowed to get people to pack the court for the hearing to ensure Voigt remained behind bars.

“We used the time more productively instead,” he said.

“We asked the people to rather avoid court until we had a clear plan in place.”

Follow-up meetings with farmers in the area would take place.

“After that, we will have a better idea of what steps to take going forward,” Plaatjies said.

However, Sanco did not want Voigt released on bail or a warning.

“He must be kept behind bars while the police investigate this case and while its before court,” he said.

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