These cattle were part of the nearly 100 stolen livestock that were recovered by the SAPS during the festive season. Picture / Supplied / SAPS
Durban - Nearly 400 livestock was reported stolen in KwaZulu-Natal since August last year - 224 cattle (two slaughtered), 116 goats, 16 sheep, seven horses and three calves.

Thirty of the livestock stolen were not classified.

During the festive season nearly 100 stolen livestock were recovered by the SAPS.

The most thefts took place in August with 267 livestock stolen, including cattle, goats and sheep.

Provincial House of Traditional Leaders chairperson and Inkosi yesizwe saseMadungeni, Phathisizwe Chiliza, said livestock was a source of income that helped educate children.

“Livestock is very important because it links a lot of things for black people in Africa,” Chiliza said.

“Livestock theft is very hurtful because those who relied on their livestock are left begging and crying over it.”

He also said those who stole livestock brought bad luck onto themselves and generations to come.

According to Chiliza, branding livestock was important in curbing their theft.

He said in Ixopo, livestock theft was widespread in the past two to three years, with cattle being the most common livestock stolen.

Recent SAPS reports showed that 59 cattle had been stolen since the start of January, 50 of which were stolen from a kraal on a farm in Mtubatuba, northern KZN, and hidden in the bushes in the KwaMbonambi area.

In December, the Vryheid Stock Theft Unit found two slaughtered cattle, a skin and two live calves within the Vryheid policing area.

The livestock were identified by the owner through his registered brand mark.

Police said they were continuously fighting livestock theft and urged livestock owners to make sure they looked after their stock, even when grazing.

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