By Zwelakhe Moahloli
Cattle rustlers are now targeting children as young as 12 years old to herd and steal livestock after threatening them with violence and death should they refuse.
This was revealed by a distraught mother who shared how her son and two grandsons were recruited by a relative to steal cattle around Dvokolwako.
The youngest of the boys is 12 years old while the oldest is 23 and the other is 16 years old.
In separate interviews, the boys, in the presence of their parents, disclosed that they were forced into stealing people’s cattle by their relative. The relative’s name has been deliberately withheld as he has not been arrested and charged.
The oldest, *Sipho said his uncle first inducted him into rustling by first stealing goats before graduating to cattle.
Sipho recounted that they stole five goats at a neighbour’s homestead which were later slaughtered.
“He promised to give me E1 000 for the job. However, he disappeared without paying me. I then decided to inform the owner of the livestock about what we did and he (owner) was livid,” Sipho said.
He said his uncle got wind that he had informed the neighbour about their shenanigans and did not take kindly to what he had done. More....