UDM writes to the President regarding stock theft in the Eastern Cape specifically affecting small farmers
Honourable Mr Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa
Dear Honourable, Ramaphosa
REQUEST FOR YOUR URGENT INTERVENTION: EASTERN CAPE RURAL SMALL FARMERS’ STOCK THEFT
Responding to an official invitation by Masifunisane Community Organisation, which is a voluntary association of small-scale rural livestock farmers, to meet with their leaders and members on Sunday, the 24th of February 2019, in Elliotdale. Present in the meeting were rural livestock farmers from Elliotdale, Libode, Mthatha, Willowvale, Idutywa, and Mqanduli.
Masifunisane was established as a response to, a rampant scourge of stock theft in the affected areas. Working with local authorities, they are trying their best to track and ensure the return of all the livestock that has been stolen or gone missing. Unfortunately, their experience of success is rather disappointing for the following key reasons, amongst others:
• Some of the Mqa
nduli police and stock theft unit, are allegedly working with the suspects of stock theft. For instance, the organisation claims to have met with the Deputy Commissioner, Captain Swarts, Captain Monwabisi Mtirara and Captain Mchamba – the head of the Mqanduli Police Station Stock Theft Unit. In which they have yet to constructively receive required cooperation.
If this is true, then it is impeding and frustrating any attempts by the farmers to achieve the desired objectives of their organisation. To this end, further details on these allegations are with the leadership of Masifunisane.
• The Provincial Authorities were alerted to this challenge but up to date they have dismally failed to make the required intervention and resolve the situation.
It is common cause, that, given the astronomically high levels of unemployment and poverty, rural farmers rely on t
heir livestock to feed their families, educate their children and in general improve their livelihood. The unabated continuation of the stock theft in these rural areas, threatens the very possibility of rural development and enjoyment of decent livelihood by the rural people.
In this regard, I propose that the Honourable President makes an urgent intervention on behalf of the vulnerable rural farmers who have been dismally failed by the provincial authorities, from the highest office in the land.
This intervention may include, but not limited to, the deployment of a team of senior police officers to the affected areas of the Eastern Cape, in order to:
• Listen to the affected farmers;
• Assess with their provincial counter-parts on the scale and scourge of this challenge;
• Investigate for themselves on the scale of the problems in these affected areas in particular and the Eastern Cape province in general;
• Investigate the role of the police services as well as the veracity of the allegations referred to above; and
• Ensure the effectiveness of the Eastern Cape stock theft unit.
For further information with regard to the specifics of the incidents of stock theft as well as the allegations against the Mqanduli police, kindly contact the leader of Masifunisane, Mr Zingisa Kula.
I will be pleased to be advised on the developments in this matter.
Yours in service of the people.
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
President of the United Democratic Movement