13 Sep 2019
CRIME statistics have shown thatstock theft has risen exponentially inKwaZulu-Natal, with several areas falling in the national top 30 list forstock theft. Bergville is at number four for the 2018/2019 period, with 213 cases registered. This was a 26,8% increase. Dannhauser is at number nine with a 58,3% increase in stock theft cases at 182 cases.
Impendle came in at number 10, with over 170 cases, while Utrecht was number 12 and Taylor’s Halt was at number 16, with 167 cases. Estcourt appeared 19th on the list, with Ntabamhlope 23rd, Bulwer 25th, Ladysmith 26th and Osizweni 28th.
Stock theft has been described as “a huge business” with sophisticated syndicates operating across the province. Magma Security and Investigations owner Shaheen Suleiman said the syndicates either butchered the cattle and sold the meat or sold the animals for slaughter at weddings, funerals, and sometimes for lobola.
He had said stock theft syndicate is typically made up of between three to five people. “The syndicate [drives]the cow into a nearby forest where they cut its hamstring, making it fall to the ground. [They] then kill it by hitting it over the head with an axe. It is absolutely horrific”.
Suleiman said the butchered animals were sold to small butcheries, hostels and even catering companies.
Last week, Dargle farmer Rolf Aadnesgaard lost a cow and her calf after men were found hacking the animal with pangas on his farm.
Aadnesgaard said he and neighbouring farmers had multiple cattle stolen in the past six months. He said small farmers suffered the most and the syndicates decimated their stock as they did not have the resources to secure their animals.