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Eastern Cape Premier meets Mhlontlo Municipality community over stock theft

Aug 28, 2019
Eastern Cape Premier meets Mhlontlo Municipality community over stock theft

Tsolo - Stock theft is one of the rising crimes in the Eastern Cape. The Province is predominantly a rural terrain with commercial and subsistence farmers spread out evenly throughout the entire area. Criminals have seen this and have been continuously stealing single and herds of stock to resell as livestock while other stock is slaughtered and sold in illicit markets.

This is one of the reasons the Mhlontlo Municipality decided to host a Mayoral  Imbizo at Daluhlanga JSS, in upper Malepelepe, at Tsolo on Tuesday.

"The aim is to have a community dialogue about the rise in Stock theft related crime, killing of people and intimidation of victims with the farmers and local community," described police spokesperson, Captain Khaya Tonjeni.

Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, and Eastern Cape SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga, joined the local community during the public meeting to add the voice of government and share about some of the efforts undertaken to fight stock theft.

Explaining the purpose of the day, Mhlontlo Municipality Mayor, Councilor Dywili said the government has given a mandate to leaders to lead the people with respect and dignity. There are government programs aimed to give leaders a chance to account, lead and listen to the people and an Imbizo is one of them.

"This is the reason why we have invited government departments to come and do this public engagement  aimed to tackle the challenge of crime and we know we cannot do it alone. The stock theft has reached unacceptable heights and this cannot be allowed to continue unabated. We will be looking for plans and solutions from you as well, speak out when you get a chance to voice your concerns," said the Mayor.

Chief Ludidi, representing Mhlontlo Royal House on behalf of Chief Zanozuko, said the traditional authorities are interested in peaceful coexistence of community.

"When traditional authority lead, the people must not be afraid to come and report. If things don't go according to the way they are expected we must meet, talk and rectify the anomaly. This is what we have come to do today," she added.

Premier Mabuyane also joined in to say," We are here to ensure that we stamp out the source of crime from the root with a clear plan of action from the Provincial police.

"We can deploy police and soldiers anytime but if you don't report criminals to police, you are destroying the future of this place."

He added that the community has a responsibility to protect police so that they render an efficient and effective police service.

The community members were given an opportunity to raise issues of service delivery and they identified certain villages as crime Hotspots.

The Premier said in order to engage the youth, a Peace Tournament will be introduced where local teams will compete against each other.

Lt Gen Ntshinga said a task team has been established to deal with the shooting and killing of people at Malepelepe village.

"Our members must gather intelligence, investigate and effect arrests instructed the Provincial Commissioner as we said earlier today at Tsolo."

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