Cattle chaos in KwaZulu-Natal. Police in the province said stolen cattle were thrown out of a moving taxi as suspects tried to evade arrest on Thursday 8 January 2021.
Police officers from the Pietermaritzburg K9 Unit were conducting operations in the area when they received information about a Toyota Quantum travelling in Karkloof with four, allegedly stolen, cattle. With the assistance of other law enforcement agencies, the said vehicle was pursued.
During the chase, the suspects proceeded on a gravel road towards New Hanover.
“In an attempt to evade police, the suspects threw three cows out of the moving taxi. Their vehicle crashed near the farm hostels and the suspects fled the scene on foot,” said Captain Nqobile Gwala.
While the cattle were rescued and returned to their lawful owner, they did also sustain slight injuries.
Police later impounded a taxi with false registration plates for further investigation. Investigations on the scene revealed that the livestock was stolen in the Rietvlei area. A charge of animal cruelty will also be added and police are still searching for the suspects.
In another unrelated incident, Thursday at midday, the Himeville Stock Theft Unit assisted by Pietermaritzburg Stock Theft Unit recovered 35-suspected stolen goats in the Pata area at Pietermaritzburg.
“The goats were found in a house but the owner of the house was not present. The animals were impounded and police are still searching for the owners,” said Gwala.
KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula commended the police officers for the recovery of the stolen stock.
“We are appealing to our communities to report suspicious vehicles travelling in their areas,” he said.
On the 22nd of December NSPCA’s Special Projects Unit received a call from concerned members of the public about a truck suspected to be transporting stolen horses, sheep and goats. Almost ten days later, with constant surveillance and monitoring, the truck was finally found at the Beitbridge border trying to cross over to Zimbabwe.
“With the assistance of SARS Customs DOg Unit, we were able to stop the truck. Upon inspection, the truck was found to be overloaded and some animals appeared to be underweight. Further to this, the paperwork of the truck was not in order. The SAPS Stock Theft unit was engaged to assist with confirming identification and the truck was then returned to its original farm,” the NSPCA said in a statement.
A follow-up inspection will be conducted at the property to reassess the conditions and ensure compliance to the warning before being considered to be allowed to travel back to Zimbabwe.