Cape of Good Hope (South Africa). Parliament. Legi.

Report of the Select committee on stock thefts online

. (page 1 of 7)
Online LibraryCape of Good Hope (South Africa). Parliament. LegiReport of the Select committee on stock thefts → online text (page 1 of 7)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Cape of Good Hope

Legislative Council
Select Committee on Stock Thefts
















/V///W />// Order <>f the Lcyixla: /></.

MAY. r.








Printed by Order of the Legislative Council.

MAY, 1905.



[C.4-1905.] STOCK THEFTS.


llth April, 1906.

ORDERED : That a Select Committee be appointed to enquire
into the prevailing and growing evil of Stock Thefts in the
Colony, and to report as to the best means of preventing the
same, such Committee to have power to take evidence and call for
papers ; the Committee to consist of Messrs. Wilmot, Pretorius,
Rogers, Pyott, Claassens, Hurndall, and Michau (Mover) ;
three to form a quorum.


Order Appointing- Committee ..t ... ii

Report v _ ix

Report, Dutch x-xir

Proceed ings of Committe i xv-xvii

Evidence :

Inspector C. T. Rajner, (Cape Mounted Police) 1

Mr. F. Urie !2

Mr. E. R. Hobson 20

Mr. J. G. Cuyler 26

Mr. G. A. Fincham 35

Mr. W. Thomas, M.L.A. QQ

O i7

n (further examined; ... 45

Mr. W. B. Magennis, C.C. & R.M 46

Mr. W. Crosbie, M.L.A 54

Col. M. B. Robinson, C.M.G., (Commissioner

of Cape Mounted Police) 60




SELECT COMMITTEE, appointed by Order of the
Legislative Council, dated the llth April. 1905,
to enquire into the prevailing and growing evil
of Stock Thefts in the Colony, and to report as
to the best means of preventing the same, such
Committee to have power to take evidence and
call for papers ; the Committee to consist of

1. Your Committee have examined a number of
witnesses, including farmers, officers of police, and
magistrates. The consensus of opinion is that on
the whole Stock Thefts have not decreased, and
that it is necessary in order that they may decrease
to improve the administration of the law by inflicting
more severe sentences. As regards specifically
what description of punishment should be accorded,
the witnesses all agree that deportation from the
Colony in the case of old offenders is really re-
quired. One of the means by which stock thieving
is carried on with comparative impunity is the
fact that Municipal locations are not under
adequate supervision. The witnesses say that
these should be well enclosed and placed under
the supervision of the Cape Police. The evidence
supplied to your Committee is of a very practical
character, and they call special attention to it.

2. It is desirable to refer to a report of a Com-
mittee of the House of Assembly in 1892, when
special recommendations were made. They say:


(1) " Your Committee have obtained a return
of conviction sand sentences in the Higher
Courts, and have been struck with their
small number and the lightness and in-
equality of the sentences in these presum-
ably grave cases. Your Committee are of
opinion that generally sentences for Stock
Thefts should be far more severe, and
believe would be so were the Judges
aware of the gravity of the evil."

(.2) This Committee were also of opinion "that
stock thieves should be stationed as far as
possible from their homes, and that trans-
portation beyond the seas would have a
very desirable effect."

(3) This Committee was further of opinion
that the Cape Police force should be
strengthened by the addition of 100 picked
men. with detectives.

(4) Also they state : ' The Committee regret
to learn from the evidence of Mr. Com-
missioner Davies that the provisions of
the Native Locations Acts, with regard to
the registration therein of stocks and their
marks, are not generally carried out ; and
while approving of Section 14 of the
Native Locations Bill of 189.2. would
advise that more care should be taken
that the provisions of the law shall really
be carried into effect, and consider that it
would be advisable to have this done by
the Police."

(5) Further, they say: "Commissioner Davies
has recommended that printed forms, with
counterfoils, should be furnished at a
cheap rate to farmers, to be compulsorily
used, as authorising the removal of stock.
These, when issued to natives holding the
certificates alluded to under the previous


section, could refer to those certificates by
number and could serve until substitutes
were given by officers appointed to issue
stamped forms of the same nature. Your
Committee would recommend that the
operation of the Cattle Kemoval Act be ex*
tended throughout the Colony. But your
Committee are convinced that neither the
Cattle Kemoval Act, nor any Pass Acts,
can be duly effective unless farmers can
be induced or compelled to aid actively in
carrying them out, by being convinced of
the necessity by law, or by the effect of
local organisation."

3. Your Committee entirely agree with the con-
clusions arrived at by the House of Assembly
whose report has just been quoted, and further
specially recommend as follows :

(1) That in administering the law, adequate

deterrent punishments be inflicted. Merely
to give imprisonment to Natives is prac-
tically an encouragement to crime. The
infliction of lashes, fines, spare diet, solitary
confinement, and, in the case of old
offenders, deportation from the Colony
are necessary. Arrangements could easily
be made with the government of the Colony
of St. Helena for the transportation of
convicts. In all cases, where possible,
double at least of the value of the stock
stolen should be required from the thief.

(2) In many cases it is evident that there is
not a sufficient force of Police to put
down Stock Thefts, that their methods are
defective, and that it would be wise to
employ Colonial men conversant with the
country, people, and languages.


(3) They recommend (a) that in the case of Muni-
cipal Locations, a barbed wire fence, ap-
proved of by the Government, be erected
with adequate entrances, so as to be effect-
ive in assisting the police in the perform-
ance of their duties. (6) That all these
Locations be under the direct supervision
of the police, (c) Generally, and specially
with reference to private Locations, the
Vagrant Act be strictly enforced. At the
same time, it is of consequence that where
the police have a suspicion that stolen
stock or meat is in any hut or habitation,
they may have the right to enter that hut
or habitation instead of having to get a
search warrant first, (d) A proper and
strictly kept register of arrivals and
departures at locations is required and
the Superintendent should be careful with
regard to the extent of leave of absence
he gives to inmates.

4. Your Committee are of opinion that with
a view to carrying out the provisions of the
Cattle Removal Act it is really necessary to
make provision against forgery and irregular
passes, as well as generally to carry its provisions
out stringently throughout the whole Colony. As
far as possible printed forms should be used, and
the farmers of the Colony are earnestly called on
for mutual interests to co-operate in carrying out
the law effectively. Better still, they think it
would be wise to amend legislation so as to provide
for compulsory stamped passes.

5. Your Committee recommend that buyers of
skins are to be required to take out a licence and
to keep proper books. The evidence shows that
canteens on Bye-roads in the Colony are not


6. Generally your Committee earnestly recom-
mend the attentive perusal of the evidence, which
contains important information and imparts
valuable suggestions. At the same time they find
it their duty to observe that, in accordance with
the evidence received by them and the opinions of
those acquainted with the subject, it is not so much
legislation that is wanted as the firm and efficacious
administration of the laws which at present exist.
They earnestly call upon the Government to give
this subject their consideration.



Committee Booms,

Legislative Council,

17th Mav. 1905.



Gekozen Comite, aangesteld op last van don Wet-
gevenden Raad, geclateerd 11 April. 1905, om
onderzoek te doen naar de heerschende en
steads toenemende misdaad van Veedief stallen
in de Kolonie, en rapport uit te brengen over
de beste middelen om dezelve te verhinderen,
zopdanig Comite macht te hebben om ge-
tuigenis in te winnen en om papieren te vragen;
liet Comite te bestaan uit de heeren Wilmot,
Pretorius. Rogers, Pyott, Claassens, Hurndall
en Michau.

1. Uw Comite heeft een aaiital getuigeii oiider-
zocht, insluitende boeren. politiebeambten en
magistrates Het algemeene gevoelen is dat
in liet gelieel genomen, veedief stallen niet vermin-
derd zijn, en dat net noodig is. opdat zij minder
worden, dat de administrate van de Wet verbe-
terd worde door zwaarder vonnissen op te leggen.
Met be trekking tot welke bijzondere soort van straf
opgelegd behoort te worden, zijn de getuigeii een-
stemming van oordeel dat deportatie uit de
Kolonie. in geval van oude misdadigers. waarlijk
noodig is. Een van de middelen waardoor vee-
dief stallen gepleegd worden met betrekkelijke
straff eloosheid. is te wijten aan liet feit dat Muni-
cipale locaties niet oiider geiioegzaam toezicnt
zijn. De getuigen zeggen dat deze belioorlijk in-
gesloten en geplaatst moeten worden oiider net toe-
zicht van de Kaapsche Politic.

De getuigenis zooals voor uw Comite gegeven
is van een zeer praktischeii aard en net wenscht
de aandacht speciaal erbij te l^epalen.


2. Het is weiischelijk, iiaar een rapport van een
Comite van de Wetgevende Yergadering van 1892
te verwijzen, toen speciale aanbevelingen werden
gedaan. Zij zeggen :

(1) "Uw Comite heeft een opgaaf bekomen
van schulclig verklaringen en vonnissen in
de Hoogere Hoven, en werd getroffen door het
kleine aantal ervaii en de lichtheid en onge-
lijkheid van de vonnissen in deze veronder-
stellenderwijze grove gevallen. Uw Comite
is van gevoelen. dat in het algemeen, von-
nissen voor Yee Diefstallen, veel zwaarder
behooren te zijn, en gevoelt dat dit het geval
zal zijn, indien de Kechters bewust waren
van het gewicht van het kwaad.

(2) Dit Comite was ook van opinie " dat dieven
van vee, zoo ver mogelijk van huniie huizen
behooren geplaatst te worden en dat trans-
portatie over de zee een zeer geweiischte uit-
werking hebben zal."

(3) Dit Comite was verder van gevoelen dat
de Kaapsche Politie macht versterkt behoort
te -wordeii met 100 uitgelezen mannen, met

(4) Zij zeggen ook : " Het Comite verneemt
met leeclwezen uit de getuigenis van Com-
missaris Davies, dat de bepaliiigen van de
Inboorling Locatie Wetten, met betrekking
tot de registratie erin van vee en hun merk-
en, niet algemeen worden uitgevoerd ; en
terwijl het Artikel 14 van het Inboorlingeri
Locatie Wetsontwerp van 1892, goedkeurt,
zou uw Comite aan de hand willen geveii, dat
grooter zorg gedragen moet worden dat de
bepalingen van de Wet, waarlijk zullen
worden uitgevoerd en beschouwt dat het
wenschelijk is dat zulks door de Politie
wordt gedaan."


(5) Verder zeggen zij : " Commissaris Davies
hecft aanbevolen dat gedrukte vormen met
tegenbladen aan boeren, goedkoop verschaft
zullen worden voor gedwongen gebruik, ter
machtiging van de vcrwijdcring van vee.
Die, wanneer uitgcreikt aan inboorlmgen,
houdende de certificaten, naar verwezen,
onder het vorige artikol, kunnen naar die
certificate!! verwijzen door rniddel van het
nommcr en kunnen van dienst zijn, tot-
dat plaatsvervangende vormen gegeven
werden door beambten. aangesteld om ge-
zegelde vormen van denzelfclen aard uit te
reiken. Uw Comite beveelt aan dat de
werking van de Vee Yerwijderings Wet
door de geheele Kolonie wordt uitgebreid.
Doch uw Comite is ervan bewust dat noch
de Vee Verwijderings Wet, noch eenige
Pas Wetten, doeltreffend kunnen zijn, tenzij
boeren bewogen of gedwongen kunnen
worden om op een actieve wijze te helpen
om ze uit te voeren, door overtuigd te zijn
van de noodzakelijkheid door middel van
de Wet. of door middel van het effekt van
plaatselijke organisatie."

3. Uw Comite stemt geheel en al in. met de be-

sluiten genomen door de Wetgevende Vergadering

wiens Rapport juist werd aangehaald, en beveelt

verder en in het bijzonder het volgende aan :

(1) Dat in de handhaving van de Wet, ge-

noegzame afschrikkende straffen opgelegd

worden. Door slechts inboorlingeii met de

gevangenis te straffen is werkelijk een aan-

moediging tot een misdaad. De toediening

van slagen, boeten , schrale kost, eenzame op-

sluiting en in het geval van oude misda-

diger*. deportatie uit de Kolonie, zijn noodig.

Schikkingen kunnen gemakkelijk gemaakt

worden met het Gouvernement van de

Kolonie van St. Helena voor de transportatie

van bandieten. In alle gevallen, waar moge-


lijk, behoort minstens dubbel vande waarde
van het gestolen vee van den dief veiiangd

(2) In vele gevallen is het duidelijk dat er
niet een genoegzame Politie macht is, om
vee diefstalleii te onderdrukken en him
methoden zijn gebrekkig en dat het wijs zou
zijn om Koloniale mannen te employeeren r
bekend met het land, het volk en hun taaL

(3) Het beveelt aan (a) dat in het geval van
Municipal e Locaties, een steekdraad heining,
goedgekeurd door het Gouvernement, opge-
richt worde met genoegzame toegangen. zoo-
als doeltreffeiid te zijn in de hulp aan de
Politie verleend, in het uitvoeren van hare
plichten. (6), Dat al deze Locaties onder het
directe toezicht van de Politie zij. (c), Dat
in het algemeen en in het bijzonder met be-
trekking tot private Locaties, de Land
loopers Wet streng worde toegepast. Tege-
lijkertijd is het van belang, dat waar de
Politie een suspicie heef t dat gestolen vee of
vleesch in eenig hut of woning is, zij het
recht mogen hebben om zoodanig hut of
woning binnen te gaan, in plaats van eerst
een bevelschrift te verkrijgen om zulks
te doen. (d) Een behoorlijkennauwkeurig
gehouden register van aankomst aan en ver-
trek van de locatie, wordt vereischt en de
Superintendent behoort voorzichtig te zijn
met be trekking tot den duur van het ver-
lof van afwezigheid, die hij aan inboor-
lingen geeft.

4. Uw Comite is van opinie dat met het oog op
de uitvoering van de bepalingen van de Vee
Verwijderings Wet, het waarlijk noodig is om voor-
ziening te maken tegen vervalsching en onregel-
matige passen. als ook in het algemeen van hare
bepalingen streng door de geheele Kolonie heen r
uit te voeren. Gedrukte vormen behooren, zoover


mogelijk gebruikt te worden en een ernstig beroep
wordt gedaaii op de Boeren in de Kolonie terwille
van onderling belang samen te werken oni de Wet
op een doeltreffende wijze uit te voeren. Nog
beter, het zou wijs zijn. denkt het, om de wetge-
ving zoo te amendeeren. dat er voorziening ge-
maakt wordt, voor gedwongen gezegelde passen.

5. Uw Comite beveelt aan dat het voor koopers
van vellen noodig zai zijn licentie uit te nemen. en
behoorlijke boeken te houden. De getuigenis
toont aan dat kantienen op de zijwegen in de
Kolonie niet wenschelijk zijn.

In het algemeen. beveelt uw Comite ernstig
de lezing aan van de getuigenis, als gewich-
tige informatie bevattende en kostbare wenken
verschaffende. Tegelijkertijd acht het zijn
plicht om aan te merken dat volgens de
getuigenis ingewonnen en de opinie van dezulken
die met de zaak bekend zijn, is het niet zoo zeer
wetgeving die verlangd wordt, als de ferme en
doeltreffende uitvoering van de wetten, die thans
bestaan. Het doet derhalve een beroep op het
Gouvernement om deze zaak ernstig te willen over-



Comite Kamer,
Wetgevende Eaad,

17 Mei, 1905.


PROCEEDINGS OF SELECT COMMITTEE, appointed by Order of the
Legislative Council, dated the llth April, 1905 to enquire
into the prevailing and growing evil of Stock Thefts in the
Colony, and to report as to the best means of preventing the
same, such Committee to have power to take evidence and
call for papers ; the Committee to consist of Messrs. WlLMOT,
MlCHAU (Mover).

Tuesday, 18th April, 1905.


Mr. Michau.
Mr. Wilniot.
Mr Hurndall.
Mr. Pretorius.

Mr. Pyott

Mr. Claassens.
Mr. Rogers.

Order of Council dated llth April, 1905, appointing Committee

Resolved : That Mr. Michau be Chairman of this Committee.
Resolved : That the following witnesses be summoned :

( Inspector Rayner, Cape Police.
j The Commissioner of Police.

| Mr. Frank Urie, Cradock.
\ Mr. Wm. Thomas, M.L.A.,

I Mr. Cuyler, Cuyler Manor, Uitenhage.
1 Mr. G. Elaine, M.L.A.

Adjourned until Thursday, 4th May, 1905.

Thursday, 4th May, 1905.

Mr. MICHAU (Chairman).

Mr. Hurndall.
Mr. Claaeseng.
Mr. Pyott,

Mr. Pretorius.
Mr. Wilmot,
Mr. Rogers.

Minutes read and confirmed.

Inspector Charles Tainton Rayner, Cape Mounted Police, ex-


Resolved: To summon Mr. K. R. HotjsoJi to give evidence, on
Friday, 5th May, 1005.

Adjourned until Friday, 5th May, l'.H)5.

^. 5th May, 19O5.

Mr. MlCHAU (Chairman).

Mr. HurudaU.
Mr. Claaspens,
Mr. Pyott.

Mr. P*etorius>
Mr. Wilmot.
Mr. Rogers*

Minutes read and confirmed.

Mr. Frank Urie and Mr. E. R. Hobson, examined.

Adjourned until Monday, 8th May, 1905.

Monday, 8th May, 1905.

Mr. MlCHAU (Chairman)*

Mr. Rogers.
Mr. Claassens.

Mr. Hurndali.
Mr. Wilinot.
Mr. Pyott.

Minutes read and confirmed.
Mr. Jacob Glen Cuyler, examined.

Resolved : To summon Mr. G. A. Finch am und Mr. W. Thomas*,
M.L.A., to give evidence on Tuesday, 9th May, 1905.
Adjourned until Tuesday, 9th May, 1905.

Tuesday, 9th Mai/, 1

Mr. MlCftAU- (Chairman).

Mr. Rogers.
Mr. Hurndall.
Mr. Pyott.

Mr. Claassens..
Mr. Wilmot,
Mr. Pretorius.

Minutes read and confirmed.

Mr. George Aldridge Fincham and Mr. William Thomas, M.L. A.,

Resolved : To summon Mr. W. B. Magennis C.C. and R.M. of
Aberdeen, and Mr. W. Rubidge, M.L.A., to give evidence on
Wednesday, 10th May, 1,905.

Adjourned until Wednesday, 10th May, 1905.


Wnlnesday, 10th May, 190-5.

MR. MlCHAU (Chairman).

Mr. ROI:<TS.
Mr. Pyott.

Mr. Hnrndall.
Mr. Pivtoriue.

Mr. Wilmot,

Minutes read and confirmed.

Mr. William Thomas, M.L.A., further examined.

Mr. W. B. Magennis, C.C. fc R.M., of Aberdeen, examined.

Hesolved : To summon the Commissioner of the Cape Mounted
Police and Mr. William Crosbie, M.L.A., to give evidence on 12th
May, 1905.

Adjourned until Friday, 12th May, 1905.

l-'riflay, 12th May, 190-5.

Mil. MICHAU (Chairman).

Mr. Hurndall.
Mr. Rogers.
Mr. Claassens.

Mr. Pretorius.
Mr. Wilmot.
Mr. Pvott.

Minutes read and contirmed.

Mr. Win. Crosbie, M.L.A., Col. M. B. Robinson, C.M.G., Com-
missioner of Cape Mounted Police, examined.

Resolved : That a Sub-Committee be appointed to draw up
:a Draft Report, such Sub-Committee to consist of Messrs. Wilmot,
Hurndall and the Chairman.

Adjourned until Wednesday, 17th May,

\\~irl nraday, 17th May, 190-5.

Mr. MICHAU (Chairman).

Mr. HurndaH.
Mr. Rogers.

Mr. Wilmot.
Mr. Pvott,

Mr. Claassens.

Minutes read and confirmed.

The Chairman brought up the Draft Report of the Sub-Com-

Draft Report considered and amended.

After deliberation.

Resolved : That the Draft Report, as amended, be adopted.

Resolved : That the Chairman report accordingly.

(C 4 'Ofv> Stock Theft*.



Thursday, 4th May, 1905.


ME. MlCHAU (Chairman).

Mr. Hurndall.
Mr. Claassens.
Mr. Pyott.

Mr. Pretorius.
Mr. Wilmot.
Mr. Rogers.

Inspector Charles Tainton Rayner (Cape Mounted
Police) examined.

1. Chairman.] You are an Inspector in the Cape c I ,5 8 ^ cfcor
Police ? Yes, in the Aliwal North Division.

2. I suppose you are aware of the objects of May 4> 1905
this Committee ? Yes, in connection with stock

3. We want to try and find out in what way to
suppress them. How long have you been con-
nected with the Cape Police ? Since 1882.

4. Have you always been in the Eastern Pro-
vince ? Yes, practically.

5. In your experience, is stock-thieving in-
creasing or decreasing ? Speaking of the Eastern
Province, I do not think it is on the increase.

6. In what parts have you had the most com-
plaints ? In the Barkly East District.

7. Have you had many cases in the Locations ?

8. Who do you think steal mostly ? Mostly
natives, but the Europeans steal largely also.

C4. 1905,-Stock Thefts. A


inspector 9. Have you traced any thefts lately to Euro-

r. Rayner. p eans 9 jg^ recently ; it is some years since we

May 4, 1905. traced thefts to Europeans, but we know of them

thieving, and we have our eyes on them. It takes

time, however, to trace them.

10. Have you had any convictions lately for
stock thefts ? Yes.

11. How many convictions did you have for
stock thefts? During the nine months ending the
31st of March, 1905, we made 133 arrests.

12. Ajid the number of crimes? 88.

13. How many convictions did you have ? We
had 87 summarily convicted, and there are 9 await-
ing trial.

14. Can you give us an idea of the period of
sentences given? They varied from six months to
two years and six months.

15. Were any lashes inflicted? Yes, in some

16. We want to find out some means of suppress-
ing these stock thefts ; what would you recom-
mend ? Are the sentences sufficiently heavy ?
1 think the Cattle Kemoval Law wants amending.
I might make one or two suggestions. Speaking
of my own Division, that is Barkley East, Aliwal
North and Herschel, I have a mixed population of
about 61,000, that is 12,000 whites and 49 ,000 blacks.
Further than that, the Barkley East District is
bordered by Mount Fletcher, Maclear and Elliott
Districts. There the population of natives is
33,640 out of a total population of 41,040. This
area is policed by 123 all ranks, and it is obviously
clear that we have not sufficient men to cope with
the work.

17. How many men would you want to cope
with the work? At least 180 to do the work
properly. There have been many reports of stock
lost, and the time of the men has been devoted
entirely in searching for lost stock. This of course
does not allow any time for Police work.

18. Can you tell us what class of men you find
most serviceable in tracing these stock thefts, the


native, Colonial, or the imported European ? We inspector
have Englishmen who have been out here some ' T> ^ ayner -
time, who are quite as good as any Colonials, and May 4, 1906.
the natives are very good also. The raw English-
man, of course, takes about a year before he exactly
knows what to do.

19. Do you find these native detectives of any
assistance ? Yes, if you pick your men and know
the native character well, and also know their

20. And you think they are reliable ? Yes, I
have found the majority reliable, although you
come across " wasters " occasionally. I should like
to make a statement expressing my views.
I was authorised by the Commissioner Com-
manding to enrol a certain number of natives for
the Herschel District, and was instructed by him
to place a number of these natives as boundary
riders on the Barkly East. Herschel and Basuto-
land border, along the border fence which had to
be properly patrolled. In addition to this, we
established Helio communication on the border
which has undoubtedly spared both men and
horses, and is an object lesson which has had a very
good effect upon the natives. Although the establish-
ment of a proper system of patrol was originated
along the border fence, I am sorry to say it has not
checked the New T England farmers from reporting
losses of stock, but it has certainly to a very great
extent minimised the losses as compared with
former years ; the fact that notwithstanding the
efforts of trustworthy men patrolling the border

1 3 4 5 6 7

Online LibraryCape of Good Hope (South Africa). Parliament. LegiReport of the Select committee on stock thefts → online text (page 1 of 7)