Cross-Border Stock Theft On The Rise

Cattle PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Cattle PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The rampant cross-border livestock theft along Botswana and South Africa border is keeping Ramatlabama police on their toes.

As a result, the growing transnational organised stock theft networks threaten the country’s agricultural economy, as it has been a concern for years.

In response to the scourge, police said plans are underway to map a lasting solution to stop cross-border cattle rustlers who sell stolen livestock in South Africa.

Ramatlabama Police Station commander, Superintendent Zibani Mbisana said the rustlers have become a nightmare for farmers in Botswana and South Africa borderline with around 200 goats stolen thus far.


He said there is a syndicate of livestock thieves amongst South Africans and Batswana that has forced farmers along the borderline to sleep with one eye open.

“The cattle rustlers have gone to the extent of stealing the cattle at night from kraals in Botswana and tracked them to Lehurutshe and Madute villages in South Africa where they seem to have established a market,” Mbisana said.

The alarm bells follow a recent incident in which 11 sheep and nine goats were stolen from a farmer in Botswana and were recovered the following morning in South Africa.

Mbisana said two Batswana and two South Africans were involved and have since been arrested and appeared before a South African Magistrate’s Court for the theft incident.

“The thieves were arrested in possession of the said small stock in an Isuzu bakkie driving along the Botsalano Game Reserve in South Africa through the help of the South African Defence Force. They appeared before court and they are currently in custody in South Africa while investigations into the matter are ongoing,” he said.

Mbisana added it seems like the two Batswana tracked the small stock from Botswana, cut the border fence and loaded them into a South African registered Isuzu van before the arrest on their way to the marketplace. He stated that the stolen livestock have since been identified and will soon be transported back to Botswana.

Livestock owners along the border have been warned about the rising cases of stock theft as their dreams of becoming successful farmers are being dashed by cattle rustlers. Mbisana called on farmers to form a neighbourhood watch and help the police to curb the scourge through their teamwork.

Editor's Comment
Everyone should be on high alert

Close to half a million people in the country have been fully vaccinated while over 800,000 have received their first doses. Botswana has tackled tough hurdles, but the race is far from over.Batswana are gearing up for the holidays and there will be a lot of movement across the country and outside the country. Social gatherings are back in full force and now more than ever, people should observe COVID-19 protocols.Our neighbouring country South...

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