Matimela Act proposals irk Kgatleng cllrs

MOCHUDI: Kgatleng councillors have taken a dim view of the planned amendments to the Matimela Act, saying the proposals may unfairly burden tribal authorities with the problem of stray livestock.

In the proposed amendments, presented to the councillors by Assistant Minister, Local Government and Rural Development, Botlogile Tshireletso, tribal authorities will be required to forward reports of stray livestock within 14 days of receiving them.

Under the current law, any chief, sub-chief or headman who receives a report of matimela (lost cattle) is required to pass the information to a matimela officer within 30 days. People coming across matimela are also required to report them to tribal authorities or face a fine.

Councillor Thabo Komane of Ntshinoge said the proposals are one-sided and exclude the role played by cattle owners. “Matimela have a brand which makes it easier for identification when lost.

Therefore when they are lost, the owner should simply be called as the Agriculture Department has all the records of the owner. Why is it that when a beast has been hit by a motorist, the owner is easily identified by the police? The same should apply to matimela owners.”

Komane said the owners should be called and informed about their lost cattle. This, he said, would save expenses incurred from the cattle, especially the P43 which is paid to caretakers.

Komane said herdboys’ stipulated hours of work fro 7.30am to 6.30pm were inadequate and contributing to the problem. “One of the pillars ya Vision 2016 ke “go nna chaba e e kutlwelo botlhoko (a compassionate nation). Government should be lenient when dealing with matimela and stop its cruelty,” he said, before Tshireletso interrupted him and asked who ‘government’ was.

Specially elected councillor, Tebogo Phalaagae said that there was no way cattle could be said to be lost when they are branded. “Police should simply call the owners to reduce expenses,” he said.

Council chairman, Mpho Morolong said he did not believe cattle could be lost in the same district, as they merely venture out for greener pastures.

 “Di a bo di batla mafulo a matalana (they will be looking for greener pastures). When a beast from Radiajane moves to another place in Kgatleng, it doesn’t qualify to be called letimela. It can only be called letimela when it is found in Kweneng, GaMmangwato or South Africa.”

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