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LOST AND FOUND: The disputed dog

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Soldier accused of stealing a dog

A Molepolole man is determined to see to it that a soldier he believes stole his dog faces the full might of the law.

Tefo Moruleng, 30, told court that he decided to go the legal route after the suspected dog thief, Corporal One Motiki (32) of Thebephatshwa Airbase insisted the dog was his and that he bought it from the Tswapong area.

“At first I suspected he only found the dog lost and decided to keep it, but I realised he stole it because he was adamant  it belonged to him and that he had witnesses,” said Moruleng who admitted that dogs can get lost, be injured or killed on a hunt.

The phatshwana (black and white) female speed-hound that was displayed before court as an exhibit allegedly went missing while on a hunt for a leopard at the cattlepost.

Moruleng told Magistrate Rosemary Khutlo that the dog which is valued at P3 500 was part of a pack of seven dogs that went hunting and that it did not return after the leopard chase.

“On December 20th, 2018 I went back to the cattle post to search for the Phatshwana dog and it was never found till I returned to Molepolole on January 1st, 2019. I became ill until August 2019 when one Modisaotsile who takes care of my grandmother’s livestock came to inform me that he found the missing dog with a certain Dilala,” explained Moruleng.

Moruleng says he then went with Modisaotsile to see the dog at Dilala’s place.

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Upon arrival Moruleng claimed he wanted to buy a dog and asked Dilala to describe the characteristics of the breed he had and he surprisingly gave a description of the missing dog.

“After I told him that he was describing my dog, Dilala then told me that the dog belongs to Motiki and that it had been taken to Palapye. We then agreed that he brings it month end so I could see it. That month end September 2019, Modisaotsile alerted me that Motiki had taken the dog with him to the BDF camp,” Moruleng said.

Later when Moruleng phoned Motiki he allegedly claimed the dog belonged to him and that it came from Tswapong and that there was no need for him to see it.

After Moruleng informed Motiki that it was better he reported the matter to the police, he said Motiki then allowed him to go and see the dog and told him not to be accompanied by anyone.

Later on after reporting the matter to the police Moruleng was accompanied by his uncle and sister to see the dog and the duo witnessed for him that it was indeed his dog but Motiki insisted it was his dog and that he also had witnesses.

Moruleng told the court that he bought the dog from one Moabi Ontsheketse in Letlhakeng when it was still three- months-old.

Trial continues on May 7th, 2021.


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