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Rapid action by police leads to recovery of 50 sheep in the Brandfort area

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A Livestock theft that took place on 19 February 2022 in the Brandfort area was addressed quickly and effectively by the SAPS’s specialist units.

During this Sunday night, 48 Dorper ewes and 2 rams worth R155 000 were stolen. The quick reporting of the case to the local police led to ʼn Livestock theft detective, AO Grobbelaar and AO Oelofse from K9 (Dog unit) with his tracking dog named Ashton, following the tracks for 30 kilometres. They found 48 sheep at the municipal grazing camp near the town area hidden in dense bushes, where a temporary kraal had been erected. Although no persons could be linked to the crime, the sheep were found by the said police officers and returned to the rightful owner.

Isabel Kruger of the Livestock Theft Prevention Forum of the Red Meat Producers Organization (RPO) in the Free State thanks the Police for their prompt action, especially the specialist units that led to the recovery of the livestock. “It is such quick response and action by the police that will ensure that farmers’ confidence in the legal system will improve.”

Dr Jane Buys, Safety Risk Analyst at Free State Agriculture (FSA), states that the Brandfort area has been a high crime area in the Free State for some time with regard to stock theft incidents. In the calendar year 1 January to 31 December 2021, more than 1 080 cattle worth R6 million were stolen in Brandfort. In 24 of the 53 cases, 10 to 79 head of livestock were stolen from farms at one time. “It once again shows that large numbers of livestock are being stolen from farms at one time, which makes it an organized crime that leads to huge losses among commercial farmers.”

Various interventions have been requested by both the RPO, Free State Agriculture’s Rural Safety Committee as well as the local farming community to obtain the police’s assistance in order to combat stock theft effectively, prevent and also arrest criminals involved. Several arrests by the police have followed in most recent cases, although it would appear that some of the stock thieves have not yet been arrested, or that there are well-organized groups and or syndicates involved in the commission of this type of crime in the area.

Kruger once again urges the police to follow up on all clues in order to prosecute all criminals who organize and carry out stock theft in the Brandfort area.