The accused who was unrepresented appeared before the Senior Magistrate in Mbabane on a charge of contravening Section 3 (1) of the 2
Stock Theft Act No. 5 of 1982 (as amended) (hereinafter referred to as the Act). It was alleged that he had stolen a horse valued at E6000-00 belonging to Mr Masebenza Hlatshwayo. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was at the end of the trial found guilty as charged.
 l note that there is no "Section 3 (1)" in the Act. That Section has 3 (a) and (b) only. However, since the charge sheet clearly informed the accused of the offence he was facing, I do not think that he was in anyway prejudiced by the reference to a non-existent subsection 3 of the Act. The proper section that should have been quoted is Section 3 (a), as it is that Section that prohibits the theft of stock or produce.
 Whilst the proceedings that culminated in his conviction were in order, the sentence imposed on him was not. 3
 Immediately upon his conviction, he was called upon to mitigate which he did. He was thereafter sentenced to a term of 2 years of imprisonment without the option to pay a fine. He was a first offender.
 Section 18(1) of the Act provides as follows
"(1) A person convicted of an offence under Section 3 or 4 in relation to any cattle, sheep, goat, pig or domesticated ostrich shall be liable to imprisonment for a period of not less than –
(a) Two years without the option of a fine in respect of a first offence; or
(b) Five years without the option of a fine in respect of a second or subsequent offence,
but in either case [no] such period of imprisonment shall exceed 10 years; provided that if the court convicting such person is satisfied that there are extenuating circumstances in connection with the commission of such offence, he shall be liable to a fine not exceeding E2000-00 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or both.
(2) Any person who is convicted of an offence under this Act, other than under the provisions referred to in subsection (1) shall be liable to a fine of E200-00 or to imprisonment for a period of 12 months or both." 4
 Section 18 (1) regulates sentences in respect of convictions in connection with those specific stock therein set out. A horse is not one of those animals contained in that subsection. The accused could not therefore have been competently sentenced under Section 18(1) of the Act. (In fairness to the trial learned Magistrate, he did not say so).
 Stock is defined in Section 2 of the Act to mean
"..any horse, mule, ass, cattle, sheep, goat, pig, domesticated ostrich, domesticated game or the carcass or portion of the carcass of any such stock."
Therefore, bearing in mind that the accused was charged with stealing a horse, there is no doubt that he was properly convicted of a contravention of Section 3 (a) of the Act.
 Section 18(2) as quoted above covers the situation of the accused herein as a horse is not one of those creatures enumerated under subsection 1. A horse is however defined as stock. The sentence 5
stipulated under Section 18 (2) of the Act is "a fine of E200-00 or to imprisonment for a period of 12 months or both." Clearly the sentence of two years imprisonment imposed on the accused was incompetent as it is double the maximum stipulated in the Act and it cannot be allowed to stand. It is hereby set aside.
 In the result the following order is made:
(a) The conviction of the accused is hereby confirmed.
(b) The sentence of 2 years of imprisonment imposed upon him by the court a quo is hereby set aside.
(c) The case it remitted to the trial Magistrate for him to pass sentence afresh as provided under Section 18 (2) of the Act.
 In view of the maximum sentence laid down under Section 18(2) and the irregular sentence that was imposed on the accused, the court a quo is expected to comply with this order urgently. 6
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