Kaunda wants com­mu­nity to de­clare war on stock theft

The Witness - - NEWS -

DE­CLARE war against stock theft.

That’s what the KwaZulu-Na­tal MEC for Trans­port, Com­mu­nity Safety and Li­ai­son Mx­olisi Kaunda has asked the com­mu­nity of Dr Nkosazane DlaminiZuma Mu­nic­i­pal­ity to do.

Speak­ing at a stock theft meet­ing at­tended by farm­ers, com­mu­nity crime fight­ing struc­tures and law en­force­ment agen­cies from the Harry Gwala District, Kaunda said that although stock theft was prob­lem­atic in the area, po­lice have made great strides in ar­rest­ing 42 sus­pects im­pli­cated in stock theft in the district.

The meet­ing is part of a month-long No­vem­ber Safety Month pro­gramme, which in­volves en­gag­ing com­mu­ni­ties on crime chal­lenges fac­ing their ar­eas, road­blocks, trac­ing and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of crime sus­pects as well as stop and search op­er­a­tions to re­cover drugs and il­le­gal firearms.

Re­cently re­leased crime statis­tics ranked Harry Gwala third in the prov­ince and 10th in the coun­try for stock theft, with 377 cases re­ported since April this year.

Po­lice have iden­ti­fied Bul­wer, Ix­opo, Mpen­dle and Umz­imkhulu as hot-spot ar­eas for stock theft.

How­ever, since 2014, there has been a de­cline in this cat­e­gory of crime in the district.

“While we com­mend the po­lice for their ster­ling work in bring­ing this cat­e­gory of crime un­der con­trol, we re­main con­cerned that the rate of re­cov­ery of live­stock re­mains low.

“We there­fore urge mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to work with the po­lice and re­port cases of stock theft early,” said Kaunda.

Po­lice have com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions, en­forc­ing the An­i­mal Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Act, con­duct­ing in­tel­li­gence-driven op­er­a­tions and pur­su­ing wanted stock theft sus­pects.

Kaunda urged the com­mu­nity to work closely with the po­lice through stock theft fo­rums.

He com­mit­ted gov­ern­ment, par­tic­u­larly the De­part­ment of Com­mu­nity Safety and Li­ai­son, agri­cul­ture and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, in con­duct­ing stock theft aware­ness cam­paigns aimed at ed­u­cat­ing live­stock own­ers about safe­guard­ing and cor­rect brand­ing of live­stock.

He also urged mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to work closely with tra­di­tional lead­ers in en­sur­ing that mem­bers of the com­mu­nity are able to ac­cess their live­stock when re­cov­ered. — Wit­ness Re­porter.

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