Livestock theft out of control in Vulindlela

2012-12-19 00:00

LIVESTOCK theft in the Vulindlela area is getting out of control and threatening to turn community members against one another as suspicions are aroused, say traditional leaders.

The Witness learned this week that seven people had been arrested in connection with stock theft in the area. Five men were arrested in Maswazini in Vulindlela, while two women who allegedly acted as intermediaries were held in Richmond.

Over the past few years there have been reports of livestock theft escalating. On several occasions families have woken up to find that a herd of cattle was stolen in the night.

On Monday, traditional leaders, led by Induna Welcome Ndlovu of Maswazini, visited the Richmond area where they recovered five of six cattle that were stolen last Wednesday.

They had received reports that the cattle were taken to the area.

“Several young men from our area were arrested for selling beef from a cow they stole from a farm and slaughtered in a forest.

“Those men confessed to stock theft and pointed out other stock thieves, They all led us to Richmond where cows stolen on Wednesday last week were found,” Ndlovu said.

He said that they only recovered five of the six animals.

He said two women in Richmond who were involved in the theft were also arrested.

Ndlovu said that livestock had been decimated by theft and the people arrested were locals, leading community members to point fingers at each other.

His words were echoed by former IFP MPL David Ntombela, who was part of the group that went to Richmond. “The problem is that community members are now suspecting each other of being involved and being behind the theft of the animals.”

The police confirmed yesterday they were investigating a case of stock theft. They could only confirm that five people had been arrested.

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