LIVESTOCK owners in Bushbuckridge (BBR) made a citizen’s arrest in order to stop a group of cattle thieves.
The farmers, who had lost a lot of cattle lately, caught the three culprits red-handed where they were skinning a stolen cow in the bushes in Mkhuhlu in BBR. They even managed to track some of their animals which were already killed. The trio led the community members and farmers to their boss where they found meat and skins.
One of the men who was caught told NewsHorn he had been stealing livestock for more than four years and that this year alone he had already stolen 40 cows and he was still planning to steal more because it was his only way of survival. “I knew that it was wrong and one day I will get caught. We have a boss that takes the meat after the kill to sell it and pay us about R4000 to R6000 per cow,” he said.
He added that they targetted the rural areas because it was easy during the day to lead the cow far from the villages and hid it until it was dark to kill it. “It takes us less than an hour to peel and cut it into pieces, then our boss will bring a car to a his store room. We sometimes slaughter 5 cattle per night, our biggest buyers are butchers, Chisa Nyama, and funeral society for burials,” he told this journalist.
Meanwhile, Weep Mashiloane who had already lost 22 cows during the past eight months, said livestock thieves were a big problem and the fact that police are called but they do not respond, forced to take assist police.
“I have almost lost all my livestock in eight months and it took almost four years to groom them and did not even gain a thing from them. So I think these people need to be killed with their bosses and their customers because they are the one who are encouraging them to steal from us,” Mashiloane said.
Collen Malope said he lost all his cattle’s in four months and what made him angry was the fact that he found skins of his eight killed cows in one of the houses the meat was stored in. “I want them in jail or dead because they cost me a lot and my kraal is currently empty and I was making a living from them. Police must act since we brought them to them,” he said.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Leonard Hlathi, said he was not aware of the incident and referred NewsHorn to the communication officer at Calcutta police station, Sergeant Zanele Sibuyi, who also was not available and did not respond to several phone calls, phone messages and texts