Those cat­tle be­longed to me – Mang­con­gco MP

Sunday Observer - - NEWS - BY THEMBEKA DLAMINI

Eight years ago, a small-time cat­tle farmer lost nearly half of his herd when it was struck by light­ning as his cat­tle grazed in the moun­tains at Mang­con­gco near Bhunya.

This past week, his hor­ror of find­ing 18 of his prized live­stock ly­ing dead re­played when a pic­ture of bloated car­casses went vi­ral on so­cial net­work­ing sites.

The pic­ture was taken on De­cem­ber 3, 2010 and made head­lines in one of the week­end papers.

The freak elec­tric storm which oc­curred in the af­ter­noon of De­cem­ber 2, 2010, which was a Thurs­day, left farmer Oneboy Zikalala bereft.

In­ter­viewed af­ter perusing the pic­ture ex­ten­sively, the now Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment of the area claimed the own­er­ship of the cat­tle.

This he did yes­ter­day af­ter stat­ing that he got con­cerned when he heard that a farmer also had the same mis­for­tune as he did so many years ago.

“I searched for the farmer and went as far as Lundzi try­ing to as­cer­tain as to who could have been so un­for­tu­nate,” he said, of his ini­tial re­ac­tion as a con­cerned MP.

It was only on scru­tiny that he noted that the lay out of the graz­ing land and the po­si­tion­ing of the cat­tle was sim­i­lar to the tragedy of eight years ago. When in­ter­viewed in 2010, he quan­ti­fied his losses to E60 000. He was left with slightly over 20 cat­tle and yes­ter­day said the set­back was the be­gin­ning of his in­creased re­turns.

He now has close to 200 cat­tle.“When your old car gets in­volved in an ac­ci­dent, you get to buy a brand new one,” he said, adding how this was one good source of in­come for him. “They are my pri­mary source of farm­ing in­come,” he said proudly.

Eight years ago this im­age spelt dis­ap­point­ment for cat­tle farmer Oneboy Zikalala. To­day, it re­minds him of how his fail­ure turned to suc­cess.

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