Tough festive season for NC farmers due to increase in livestock theft

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Police in the Northern Cape have had their hands full in combating stock theft since the beginning of the festive season. About 100 livestock have been stolen in the past week.

Farmers in the Northern Cape are experiencing a tough festive season after losing livestock to theft.

Police have also discovered a farmer’s body in a shallow grave in Kuruman.

Bellsbank livestock farmer, Pulane Brandt has lost 38 Goats.

“I’ve lost 38 goats and I’ve reported to the police. We went to look for them but we lost the track. The police have not come back to me ever since. It hurts me because this is my livelihood.”

In another incident, a 48-year-old farmer was killed and his body was discovered in a shallow grave in Kuruman. Four suspects between the ages of 40 and 80 years were arrested.

Police believe they are linked to the murder. This after being found with 13 stolen sheep belonging to the deceased in the bakkie they were driving.

Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba, from the Northern Cape SAPS, says: “It is alleged that the four suspects kidnapped the 48-year-old man at the Ralatlhali village near Kuruman. The victim was allegedly buried in a shallow grave in the village and the suspects proceeded to his kraal where thirteen sheep were stolen and loaded on a bakkie the sheep were found along the road in a bakkie.”

Farmers have now come up with a strategy to fight livestock theft and Itumeleng Lekgetho is a farmer trying to help fight the scourge of theft.

“We tried to make plans because some of the farmers are on holiday and some of our shepherds take leave to go home. So what we do is come together as a patrol team to patrol that area every hour, it’s only at night that they stealing.”

Sehularo Sehularo from the Northern Cape Saamwerk Saamtrek Farmers Association explains how serious the situation is.

“It’s very serious because you as a farmer are the loser because to build a herd of cattle or to build a flock of sheep, it doesn’t take a year, it can take up to five years and takes sacrifice.”

In Dikgweng village, outside Mothibistad, another farmer has lost 30 sheep on Friday, while two minors were arrested in Griekwastad for stealing a goat on Boxing Day.

Meanwhile, murder suspects in Kuruman appeared in court last week and the case was postponed to 3rd of January next year.