Warning that farmers may take law into their own hands over stock theft

2017-03-20 17:20
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Port Elizabeth - Stock theft is threatening to spiral out of control, and the possibility that farmers and stock producers are going to take the law into their own hands cannot be ruled out, Francois du Toit, the chair of the Eastern Cape Red Meat Producers' Organisation, has warned.

"That definitely isn't what we want, because then people will die," he told Netwerk24.

"There are several producers who are already patrolling their own farms, which has a twofold reason - security in the area and fighting stock theft."

Du Toit was responding to the most recent statistics which were released on Friday, showing that there had been an increase in stock theft in the province. 

However, said Du Toit, the statistics weren't a true reflection of the situation, because an "enormous" number of stock thefts were not reported.

He said the co-operation between producers and the police varied from region to region. Matters could get out of hand in the areas where the co-operation was lacking.

"The Eastern Cape is a large province. For that reason excellent co-operation between the producers and the police is essential," said Du Toit.  

Willie Clack, the chairperson of the National Stock Theft Prevention Forum, said the statistics provided by the police and Statistics SA – showing an increase of 3% of non-reporting and a 2% increase in stock theft – were not accurate.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  east london  |  crime  |  agriculture
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