A MAN has been arrested after stolen cattle were discovered dead and packed in a vehicle at Edendale in Pietermaritzburg. Picture: REGIS DUVIGNAU / REUTERS
Durban - A MAN has been arrested after stolen cattle were discovered dead and packed in a vehicle at Edendale in Pietermaritzburg.

Plessislaer police were performing crime prevention duties along Edendale Main Road on Friday night when they stopped a vehicle and discovered it was loaded with meat.

Msunduzi farmer Sabelo Mbatha, who is thought to be the owner of the stolen livestock, said 12 cows were a great loss for him as a small farmer.

“I noticed that 18 cows were missing on Thursday, but we managed to find six. When I got a call to come and identify the cattle that were found, from the moment I laid eyes on them, I knew they were mine.

“I’ve lost about R70 000 and that is a great loss for a small farmer like me. We’re aware of people who own butcheries and shisa nyama (braai spots), who buy meat from thieves as they know they will get it cheaper. It’s sad that our own community members are destroying their own community farming businesses,” he said.

KZN African Farmers’ Association of South Africa provincial secretary Thube Zondi said cattle theft was starting to become a trend on farms near Edendale.

“In the past few days, it has been raining and the cattle tend to wander around, and shepherds struggle to locate all the livestock.

“This is how thieves get a chance to steal them. It’s brutal because they cut their legs while they’re still alive so they can slaughter them,” he said.

According to the police, a 33-year-old man found with the animals failed to give a satisfactory explanation as to where he got the meat from and was arrested.

Police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala said a case of possession of stolen stock was opened.

The man is set to appear today in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

Daily News