According to Free State Agriculture SafetyRisk Analyst, Jane Buys, stock theft in the Free State continues to affect notonly farmers but the whole community. She says the nature of this scourgemanifests itself particularly in rural areas because it is not fully tackled byauthorities. Buys adds that stock theft has become organised crime in theprovince that continues to hamper the farming community, and says the militaryand police should become involved.
Four men who were arrested after they were found in possession of stolen livestock at Schulpriut Farm, near Bethlehem in the Free State, are expected to appear at the local Magistrate Court on Wednesday for formal bail application. According to police spokesperson, Puleng Lebakeng, the men entered the farm on Sunday evening after the shepherd counted the animals and locked the pen. She says the following day the owner discovered that the pen was open, and five sheep were missing, and called the police. They were fortunately patrolling the area at that time and arrested the accused on the spot. Lebakeng says one of the men was an employee at the farm and police suspect an inside job. The men are expected to appear on charges of possession of suspected stolen property.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development launched a new food security strategy at Bothaville in the Free State. According to the department, the purpose of this strategy is to create awareness about the importance of producing food and to find a way to produce enough for everyone. Food Security Manager, Christa Klinck, says it is important to bring all role players from municipal- to provincial level, different departments and other organisations to the table to help fight poverty through food security.
OFM News/Michael Tlhakudi