The Midweek Sun
Farmers lose property, livestock, grazing land in inferno
A massive veldt fire gutted farms, property, grazing land, livestock and multiple structures near Kanye on Saturday at Nneneke ward, along Mathethe road.
The blaze began on Saturday afternoon when many farm owners along with workers were not in the area. Some residents told The Midweek Sun that they came rushing from Kanye to douse the fire before it could burn all their properties. Part of the burnt structures are homes and kraals.
One of the employees at the farm which was partly affected by the fire, Isaac Gouws said they came to attend the fire from Kanye and they found the whole farm covered in dark smoke.
“We fear that our goats have been affected by the smoke, one of the kraals here burnt to ashes, fortunately the goats were not inside the kraal by the time it burnt,” Gouws said.
Other residents, lament that their property and livestock were destroyed by the fire. One resident had his compound destroyed by the fire, with his six goats burnt, while his Jojo tank and corrugated iron shack burnt beyond recognition. Gimond Malaolo narrated that on Saturday morning, he left goat kids inside the kraal and released the goats for grazing. “I then left for Kanye to buy groceries. When I returned in the evening, I found all the goat kids dead and the whole kraal burnt to ashes,” Malaolo said. He said the fire was shocking as it managed to cross over the tarred road to destroy other properties on the other side of the
road. Another resident Mosimanegape Basenyapelo said his yard has not been affected by the veldt fire, but he helped to put off the fire. “When building structures in the farms, people often use old tyres, all the tyres burnt and caused dark smoke, we still fear that the remaining livestock have been affected by the smoke,” he said.
Other animals were spotted burnt and dead in an open space at a nearby hill. The residents said they do not know who could have caused the fire, except that it was burning from a faraway area before it gutted parts of
their properties. Kanye Police Station commander, Superintendent Vincent Pitseetsile said no one died in the veldt fire, but they received reports of goats dying in the inferno. Sejelo Police Station Commander, Superintendent Mogomotsi Matlapeng said veldt fires are a concern in Kanye and suspicion is that they are caused by cattle rustlers so as to drive livestock away from close to homesteads.
“We have not arrested anyone yet, we urge the public to assist in reporting individuals who intentionally cause these veldt fires,” Matlapeng appealed.