The farmer, Mr Gideon Anderson, chairman of the Mpumalanga Agricultural Union, said that he lost a tractor worth R2 million in the fire which started on a neighbouring farm.
“After the fire I even gave the dwellers four bales of hay to feed their stock,” Mr Anderson said, adding that he has photographic evidence of the cows being starved to death.
He adds that he even offered to buy the dwellers their own stands in Rockdale, since the relationship between him and the dwellers he inherited, had always been amicable.
Mr Anderson dismissed the allegation as “malicious” and said that the five hectare camp on which the animals graze, is insufficient for grazing.
Mr Welly Thanjenkwayo, admits that 24 cows of the stock of 30, had died of hunger and thirst.
Of the six that was left, one burnt to death on Friday, leaving only five.
In an exchange of texts, Mr Thanjenkwayo told Mr Anderson that he had video evidence of the cow’s painful death.
Mr Anderson, in reply, flat out accuses the dwellers of mistreating their stock.
In one text he said that Mr Thanjenkwayo should produce a veterinary report, photographic evidence of the cow’s brand, as well as photographic evidence of the fire breaks made by the dwellers, in order to prove the animal belongs to them.
Mr Thanjenkwayo admitted to not being able to provide the abovementioned proof.
Mr Anderson and neighbouring farmers fight raging fires almost daily.
It is against regulations for farmers to start fires during the prevailing fire season, and Mr Anderson said it would be madness to ignore the strict preventative regulations.
He explains that every time a fire rages, you not only risk losing your farm but your life, having sustained numerous burns in his attempt to stop the fire which swept Erfdeel on Friday.
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