Those responsible for shooting cattle must pay farmers, Qoboshiyane says
Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane wants families whose cattle were shot in Uitenhage last week to be compensated by those responsible for the shooting.
Qoboshiyane visited the farm in Kruisrivier at the weekend where 11 roaming head of cattle were shot, eight of them being killed instantly and a wounded animal having to be euthanised later.
The incident has angered cattle owners and Qoboshiyane.
“I have spoken to police [leadership] and asked about the status of the investigation in that case,” the MEC said.
“I asked for the case to be fasttracked because people have lost their source of income and assets and their dignity has been violated.”
Police spokesman Sergeant Majola Nkohli said: “A case of malicious damage to property was opened and we added [a case of] contravention of the Animal Protection Act. We are fast-tracking the ballistic analysis.”
Qoboshiyane said the case should serve as an example to show that incidents of this nature would not be tolerated in the province.
“This was an act of animal cruelty and downplaying the development of black farmers who are neighbours,” he said.
“This has been done deliberately and the perpetrator must show why he [should not] compensate these people.”
The farmer, whose name is believed to be Piet Voigt, refused to identify himself yesterday and said he had been advised by his lawyer, Andre Dorfling, not to speak to the media.
Dorfling could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Qoboshiyane said his department was in talks with Agri Eastern Cape and planned to meet the Farmers Union of the province.
”We have to look at how those farmers can be compensated,” he said.
“We need to achieve some kind of settlement when these incidents happen – this is the second serious incident in the province.
“This is becoming a problem because these occurrences have been perpetrated by white farmers towards black people.”
Qoboshiyane said he would also hold discussions with the metro with regard to securing grazing land.
“We have discovered that the farm where these cattle were killed has been leased from the municipality,” he said.
“I want to engage the municipality on how these farms can be best managed in relation to black farmers who don’t have land and see if some of those farms can be leased to these black farmers.”
The affected farmers said they needed land as it was difficult to keep the cattle in the kraal due to stock theft.
“Thieves come at night, destroy the kraals and steal. We need land,” Mzimkhulu Booi said.
He said it was the second time their livestock had been killed.
“Last year [the suspect] killed another cow. It was found dead but we never opened a case.”
Booi said the cattle were continuously roaming around the nearby farms, as they had stayed on one of those farms before.
He said two of the 11 animals that were shot had gone missing and it was believed they had died.