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2023/11/28      |  Written By:  Colonel A Myburg   |   Province:  North West

POTCHEFSTROOM: 28 November 2023 - As we gradually approach festive season, members of the community and various sectors of the society are urged to be vigilant and work together with the police in the fight against any form of criminality through the Safer Festive Season Operation Shanela which commenced on 15 October 2023.

Stock theft is one of the crimes that tend to escalate during this period. In one of the recent incidents in Bloemhof, the police were alerted of two stolen bulls worth R160 000.00. Further to that, it was indicated that the said bulls were going to be slaughtered for initiation ceremony at Boitumelong Location.

As a result, a team comprising of members of Provincial Serious and Violent Crime and Organised Crime descended to Bloemhof on Friday, 24 November 2023, to operationalise the information received. On arrival at the exact location where the bull was kept, a group of males were spotted standing next to the bull, which was tightened against a tree. Upon seeing the police, they (men) walked away.

The bull was recovered and handed over to the lawful owner, who was elated by the response of the police. No arrest was effected and investigations into the matter are underway.

Farmers and livestock owners are urged to be vigilant and to apply the following safety hints:

  • Keep all fences & gates in proper condition to protect the livestock. The employment of a specially trained employee can be considered for daily fence patrolling to see to it that holes in & under fences are repaired at once. Inspect these reparations yourself.
  • Loading ramps in paddocks or on farms away from direct supervision should be kept locked or obstructed at all times.
  • If you consider buying an additional farm, remember, “absentee landlords gather no crops”. Rather try & buy close to your residential farm.
  • Prevent stolen animals from being hidden on your property. Stock-posts serve as ideal overnight stopovers to hide livestock. Unknown livestock found at such posts should immediately be reported to the SAPS.
  • Livestock at stock posts should be counted by the livestock-owner him/herself, at least once a week.
  • Many court cases are lost because of disputes regarding the proper identification of animals. If an animal is marked with a registered brand or tattoo, disputes will be avoided. Employees should properly mark their livestock, according to the Animal Identification Act, 2002 (Act No 6 of 2002), preferably by branding them.

Be particularly watchful during the full moon, weekends & at the end or beginning of a month, or during periods that you know from your own experience, when stock thefts (slaughtering for the pot) occur.