SANDF may return to fight stock theft on Lesotho border

2011-07-26 00:00

FARMERS on South Africa’s border with Lesotho say stock thieves are raiding the area with alarming regularity.

Koos Marais of the Kwanalu security desk said that as a result, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is likely to be sent back to the border with Lesotho to help combat stock theft. He said the SANDF was more suited to conditions on the border than the police.

The Witness recently reported that stock theft in the Underberg region had decimated livestock, driving some livestock farmers into bankruptcy and forcing others into alternatives like timber.

Sources in the area alleged farmers hved been losing millions of rands due to stock theft.

The Red Meat Producers’ Organisation estimated in 2007 that stock theft is losing them almost R3 million a year.

The sources cited an incident last month when several foals were stolen from a farm. The foals were estimated to be worth a minimum of R500 000.

The sources said many farmers are left at the mercy of armed thieves.

They added that the wire fence along the border between Lesotho and South Africa is damaged in many places.

The sources said the country could not afford to lose hundreds of millions of rand through stock theft as it could lead to food insecurity.

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