Nkomazi cattle theft devastates farmers

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Cattle farmers have raised concerns of the increase in stock theft in Nkomazi Mpumalanga, after fourteen cattle were found illegally slaughtered in Mandulo and surrounding villages in Nkomazi.
The devastated cattle farmers say these incidents have been happening for months. They allege that when they report these cases, the police don’t act fast and the perpetrators are never arrested.
They say about 30 cattle have been recently stolen. For months, they’ve been waking up to new cases of stolen livestock and are concerned this will affect demand during the festive season.
Between October and November fourteen cattle were found slaughtered.
“We have a problem of thieves who are stealing of our livestock and we are worried because we report this cases to the police and they would come here take statements but they don’t come back to confirm whether they have apprehended the suspects and this becomes a problem to us because our cattle get lost this is serious problem . About 14 cattle were slaughtered at Mandulo , and they were killed in different days”, says one farmer Joseph Mkhabela.
Suspected syndicate
The farmers claim that in the month of October – they discovered eight cattle slaughtered alongside the railway line. Their fear is that there is a syndicate operating in the area and blame the police for not arresting the perpetrators.
According to cattle farmer Frans Mabaso they do report these cases of theft, but no one attends to them.
“We don’t get any help from the police they come and take statements and leave forever they don’t come back to give us a feed back after that we are worried about this as we are approaching the December holydays – things could turn ugly on our side and we will be forced to stay in bushes day and night”, says Mabaso.
Security concerns
Mpumalanga Police have confirmed that they are aware of the stock theft in the Nkomazi area and they trying their best to investigate the syndicate.
According to Provincial Police spokesperson, Selvy Mohlala ,”As the police we are doing our level best to try and apprehend the suspect but we have got a challenges that we also need assistance with especially the owners the stock, they leaving their stock overnight, that create particular environment conducive for the thieves to steal their stock.”
“Last week we apprehend one suspect whom we found with caucus of cattle and fortunately enough we managed to inform the owner, another challenge is brand marking cause more often when we found this particular cattle is challenge because most of them are not brand marked”, added Mohlala.
Police have urged cattle farmers to employ people to look after their livestock.