Exploding stock theft problem in Stella in the North West

Stock theft in Stella has escalated to such an extent farmers have been forced to the brink of bankruptcy, according to the National Stock Theft Prevention Forum (NSTPF) of SA.

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Ten suspects in the district were arrested on charges of murder, attempted murder and kidnapping after they assaulted three men on 27 October 2015. They appeared in the Vryburg magistrate court in the meantime.

The farm owner, his wife, his friends and four farm workers at Soutpanfontein suspected three men walking on the farm to be stock thieves and assaulted them with knobkierries and poured hot water over their bodies, according to a NSPTF statement.

While the NSTPF by no means condoned the act of the farmer and co-accused, chairperson Willie Clack said it had come to the Forum’s knowledge that the farmer bought the land about six months ago through a government loan. Since occupation of the land the farmer had been the victim of constant livestock theft.

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The problem became so big he acknowledged to fellow farmers that bankruptcy was evident. The unsuccessful control and management of stock theft by the South African authorities also added to the ever increasing problem, according to Clack.