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Zululand draws attention to increasing stock theft

The statistics were revealed by the Deputy Provincial Commissioner responsible for Crime Detection, Major General Vukani Mgobhozi when he addressed the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Rural Safety Summit which was held at the Cecil Emmett Hall

The Zululand District has seen a rise in stock theft that has prompted the police in KwaZulu-Natal to establish a dedicated task team to curb the scourge and other crimes in rural areas.
Since its establishment in October, the team has recovered stolen livestock valued at R189 000. The haul includes 14 cattle and a fresh carcass which was suspected to have been beheaded for the black market. Four people have since been arrested for stock theft, three for the possession of suspected stolen stock and one was arrested for the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. The team also arrested 23 people on charges of drug possession.

The statistics were revealed by the Deputy Provincial Commissioner responsible for Crime Detection, Major General Vukani Mgobhozi when he addressed the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Rural Safety Summit which was held at the Cecil Emmett Hall.

Major General Mgobhozi, who doubles up as the acting provincial commissioner for policing, also revealed that Zululand District was the third most affected District in regards to stock theft, with the Uthukela and uMgungundlovu districts in position one and two respectively. The Harry Gwala and Amajuba districts complete the top five most affected districts by stock theft.

In his message of support, AfriForum Provincial coordinator of KwaZulu-Natal, Eugene van Aswegen, said that ‘farmers and their crops or produce should be protected in all ways possible.’
“The protection of food security starts when a farmer fences his land to protect the food basket of our country. The continuous sabotage and theft of fences is a threat to food and contributes to damaged crops. Stray animals also endanger our people’s lives on the road.

“In regards to straying stock, I want to emphasize that cattle, goats, pigs, geese, and even chickens, cause damage to the lands. It was brought to my attention that about 70 free-range chickens recently damaged maize lands to the value of R34 000″, said van Aswegen.

He warned that ‘farmers will have to carry the costs alone’.
“Fences are erected but these are quickly damaged or stolen. Standard fences are not sufficient to prevent small animals such as goats, geese, and chickens from entering a property – therefore stock owners should take full responsibility for their stock to ensure good relationships are maintained on farms.

“Several acts, especially the Esta (Extension of Security of Tenure Act) act, offer clear guidance as to how farmers and farm dwellers should live in harmony on commercial farms. Our farmers are more than willing to work according to these acts. But we find elements, especially those with political motives, that will purposely spread the wrong information and views of these acts and guidance. The absence of addressing this wrongdoing is a huge contributing factor to disputes on farms,” Van Aswegan said.

“We recently experienced disastrous field fire in other parts of South Africa. It is expected by farm owners to develop and manage field fire management plans. The establishment of Fire Protection Organisations gives direction and form rules as to how to prevent such disasters. Insurance premiums are paid by the farm owners who must comply with such rules.
“Disaster management rules lay down that fire breaks should be done by both owners on both sides of a boundary fence. AfriForum emphasises the necessity of at least a 10-meter strip, on both sides of a boundary, being cleared of any buildings to achieve responsible disaster management.
“The burning of camps and litter should not be allowed outside the agreed areas and out of fire seasons. These rules need to be imposed by all authorities. Acting strictly and proactively will help protect our people from devastating disasters as has happened in other provinces.

“All departments, the private sector, and communities need to work harder to secure our food security. AfriForum will continue to assist and develop community structures within our ability supporting and strengthening the arm of the SAPS in fighting crime.”
“A full stomach ensures healthy thoughts, healthy thoughts build respectful communities,” he concluded.

The top five police stations that are most affected by stock theft are Impendle, Intsikeni, Ntabamhlophe, Taylors Halt, and Utrecht.

ALSO READ: Stock theft suspect nabbed after shooting at livestock owners

The news provided to you in this link comes to you from the editorial staff of the Vryheid Herald, a sold newspaper distributed in the Vryheid area.

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