A sad sight greeted the residents of Nkunzi, which lay between Ladysmith and Dundee, last Wednesday when 20 cattle and one goat were found dead in the area, reports Ladysmith Gazette.
Farmers and concerned residents flocked to the area to try and find out how such a tragedy could have occurred.
The cattle belonged to Nkili Mavimbela and Nkosenye Mazibuko, who are prominent farmers known for breeding and owning quality cattle.
An eyewitness said the cattle were seen happily grazing, but their behaviour changed after a few minutes and they suddenly fell to the ground.
Farmers in the area contacted the department of agriculture, who responded on Thursday to investigate the freak deaths of the cattle.
Two of the dead animals were taken in for testing to ascertain the cause of death.
The farmers strongly believe that poisoning is the cause, as they found a weird-looking white substance in the grass where the cattle were last seen grazing.
One of the farmers commented this was a big loss to them, as the cost of one cow or bull ranged from R6,000 to R11,000.
The cattle that died were being used for milking purposes, for drinking and selling the milk.
The cattle are also sold so the owners can have an income if they need funds.
One goat was also found dead in the same area.
The farmers, along with community members, dug a mass grave and buried the cattle in a dignified manner. This is the second such incident in the Ladysmith area. In 2016, 19 cattle were found dead in Helpmekaar Road.