By Sipho Shongwe
The National Commissioner of Police, Isaac Magagula has warned cattle owners in the country to avoid mob justice against cattle rustlers.
This follows a gruesome incident where two cattle rustlers’ suspects were killed at Mpuluzi about 10 days ago.
The victims were ambushed by cattle owners who were tracking them for some days and they finally caught them around 3am after a hot pursuit.
The angry farmers and community, members failed to control their anger and they badly assaulted the suspects. Two of the suspects died on the same day while two are believed to be still alive.
Magagula has unreservedly condemned the killing of the two suspects and urged farmers to avoid mob justice at all costs.
He said mob justice is taking the country back to the dark ages. However, the commissioner sympathised with farmers who have lost a lot of cattle through cross boarder cattle rustling.
The National Commissioner said the police share the frustration and despair experienced by victims of cattle rustling.
He promised that the police will do everything possible to bring the cattle rustling under control very soon to avoid situations where co-mmunities are driven to a state of misery.
Declaring war on cattle rustlers
Swaziland and the Republic of Mozambique Police Services have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster joint strategies for combating livestock theft and other cross border crimes experienced by both countries.
The signing of the MoU brings comfort and hope that the police will eventually stop cattle rustling and protect livestock industry in both countries.
Farmers hope and pray that similar MoUs will be signed with South Africa to achieve same objectives.
Cattle owners are very angry
Your Friend would like to reveal that many cattle owners in the kingdom are very angry after losing many cattle over the last 15 years.
What is sad about this problem is that about 80 per cent of livestock theft cases are never solved and perpetrators are never brought to justice.
Hence livestock theft cases in the country are increasing and cattle rustling have become way of life for many people.
Farmers cannot do anything to protect their cattle and to stop the crime.
A number of cattle theft cases reveal that cattle rustlers are now too sophisticated, well armed and they show no mercy to cattle owners when they come face to face.
It is alleged that cattle rustlers now form strong syndicates that operate like the mafia to make sure it is very difficult to identify the big guys involved.
These syndicates have money and they hire good lawyers to defend them, should they be caught.
Your Friend can reveal that in Guquka, a mob that was investigating cattle theft has landed three community leaders in court where they are being sued for E100 000 by somebody the mob questioned during the investigation for deformation of character.
This matter is in the High Court.
Honestly, cattle theft in the country has left many cattle owners provoked beyond restraint.
However, farmers must not take the law into their own hands.
They should call the police whenever they apprehend cattle rustlers suspects.
Farmers must never beat or kill suspects because if they do that they will be arrested, charged and they can end doing time in jail.
Swazis stealing cattle from South Africa
Your Friend was shocked recently after discovering that South African farmers living along the Swaziland border are complaining that their cattle are stolen by Swazi Cattle rustlers.
Your Friend got this information from a South African friend. I and the friend learnt about this when we met two women coming from a Police Station to report about their missing cattle allegedly stolen by Swazi cattle rustlers.
The police station is about 10 Kilometres from Ngwenya.
The women were very angry, frustrated and helpless.
This shows that there are people who steal cattle in Swaziland and take them to South Africa and some people steal cattle in South Africa and sell them in Swaziland.
What remains to be explained is how do the cattle rustlers avoid being caught by the soldiers who are patrolling our borders?