A bloody battle over livestock in the hills of the Eastern Cape has turned so violent that established farmers are starting to surrender, sell up and migrate. Marginal farmers living in villages and some farmers have gone into resistance mode and are fighting back with all their might.
Stock thieves, operating in the unique style of a newly rich provincial rural mafia with urban connections, are accused of wholesale rustling.
Their ravaging is starting to reach a crescendo where those who dare to resist are put to death in blazing vehicles or are mown down in automatic assault weapon fire. The war has become a national crisis, the Daily Dispatch team learnt during a four-month intensive investigation.


WATCH | Documentary exposing EC stock theft horrors now live


BEHIND THE NEWS | The deadly Eastern Cape ...

Stock theft is real and deadly. Thousands of Eastern Cape people are victims. Syndicates make millions from it. In May ...

By Bongani Fuzile

Cops and prosecutors part of deadly stock theft web, says lone magistrate

Corrupt state officials, from cops to prosecutors, are deeply involved in the stock theft racket, and that's why ...

By Lulamile Feni

Village sets up dynamic forum to fight stock theft

Tired of being victims of stock theft where lives are lost and prized cattle and sheep are sold cheaply by thieves, ...

By Bongani Fuzile and Lulamie Feni

EXCLUSIVE | Eastern Cape widows mourn after fiery horror of mob rage ...

Two Eastern Cape women are among the growing list of widows being spawned by the rising wave of cattle grabbing ...

By Bongani Fuzile and Lulamile Feni

THE KINGPINS: Woman stock theft boss is feared and smart, say cops

Feared operator Ntandokazi Xoliswa Mbombo​, 41, is accused of masterminding a multimillion-rand stock theft ...

By Lulamile Feni and Bongani Fuzile

THE KINGPINS: Lwazi Tshangela has stolen hundreds of cattle, say cops

Police say 427 cattle have been swiped by rustling kingpin Lwazi Tshangela, 37. This is the substance of  four ...

By Bongani Fuzile and Lulamile Feni

THE KINGPINS: Elvis Duda, the paramedic who favours classy livestock

Accident victims may have been treated by notorious stock theft boss, paramedic Elvis Duda, who stands accused of ...

By Bongani Fuzile and Lulamile Feni

THE KINGPINS: Akhona Xhoma, the untouchable

Widely believed to be a kingpin in of one of the syndicates operating in the Eastern Cape, Akhona Xhoma is accused of ...

By Bongani Fuzile and Lulamile Feni

Eastern Cape farmers spend millions on hi-tech spy cameras and armed guards

Commercial farmers in the Cedarville farming area are spending millions on technology to protect what is left of ...

By Lulamile Feni and Bongani Fuzile

Bullets, knives and fire — how people have fallen in stock-theft war

MTHATHA, BHAZIYA, JANUARY 3, 2021: Two men were burnt alive after they were thrown inside their vehicle that was ...

Ngcobo mayor says stock theft is his main concern

This is Ngcobo today, epicentre of a cattle war in which scores have died or been maimed. As he runs through the list, ...

By Bongani Fuzile

Criminal syndicates force grief-stricken EC ...

A sense of foreboding pervades the province's close-knit rural community as farmers in cattle rustling hotspots ...

By Bongani Fuzile

Grannies forced to stand by as their tiny herds ...

For the widows, grandmothers and single moms of Qumbu there is no difference between a bank robber and sheep ...

By Bongani Fuzile and Lulamile Feni

Cattle rustler earns R30,000 a month to ‘feed’ ...

For a jobless father of four who spoke to the Dispatch, cattle thievery is a lucrative crime. The man, in his 30s, ...

By Bongani Fuzile and Lulamile Fen

Holomisa calls for new police unit and ...

UDM president Bantu Holomisa says more people are starting to be killed in an escalating wave of cross-border stock ...

'We have enough resources to do the job, say ...

In five years, more than 34,169 cases of stock theft were reported in the Eastern Cape and 3,011 suspects were ...

By Lulamile Feni and Bongani Fuzile


MORE DispatchLIVE STOCK THEFT STORIES:

Two arrested for defrauding a farmer of nearly ...

Two men were arrested after they were found in possession of sheep valued at R4.9m that they fraudulently obtained from ...

Ngcobo stock thief sentenced to eight years in jail

An Eastern Cape man was last week sentenced to an effective eight years in jail for stocktheft in the Ngcobo area

By Lulamile Feni

R260m lost as stock theft cripples Eastern Cape farmers

Eastern Cape farmers have lost at least R260-million due to stock theft and poaching in recent months, and the amount ...

By Riaan Marais

Police confirm two in ‘mob justice’ video were killed

Eastern Cape police have confirmed that two men who appear in a 30-second video clip bound in chains and marched ...

By Lulamile Feni

Oscar puts weight behind anti-stock theft forum

Escalating stock theft in the Eastern Cape is about to meet some resistance. National Emergent Red Meat Producers ...

By Bhongo Jacob

Horror family slaying in Tsolo stock theft hotbed ...

The brutal slaying of four family members in a remote rural village in Tsolo on the weekend has left the rest of the ...

By Lulamie Feni

Brothers accused of deadly arson attack say they ...

Two brothers accused of a deadly gun and arson attack on relatives' home while the occupants were sleeping have told ...

By Ziyanda Zweni

Four Eastern Cape widows living in terror after husbands gunned down

Four Eastern Cape widows whose husbands were brutally murdered are living in fear of more attacks. Ngcobo traditional ...

By Lulamile Feni

Mob kills two accused of stock theft

Two men, who were accused of stock theft, were killed by community members in Tsolo in the Eastern Cape on Monday

By Iavan Pijoos

Alert cop flags down stolen cattle

Mqanduli policeman Mnoneleli Fikizolo has come in for high praise after foiling the well-planned theft of nine cattle ...

By Lulamile Feni

Eastern Cape farm attack and stock theft numbers laid bare

Farm attacks have tripled in four years in the Eastern Cape, and as Covid-19 took hold this year, stock thieves ...

By Mike Loewe

Woman stock theft accused a ‘career first’ for senior cop

A senior police officer with more than 40 years experience says a woman being accused of masterminding a ...

By Lulamile Feni

Stock theft hits KWT farmers hard

Rampant stock theft in villages around King William’s Town is costing subsistence farmers thousands of rands in ...

By Bongani Fuzile

KWT farmers’ animals decimated by theft syndicates

King William’s Town farms have become the latest target of stock thieves, who are selling stolen animals to ...

By Sandiso Phaliso

EC police arrest suspected stock thieves who burnt down victims homes

Ten alleged stock thieves were arrested in Elliot near Qumbu and Maclear over the weekend. Transport MEC Weziwe ...

By Sandiso Phaliso

Murderous vendetta turns Ngcobo village to place of terror

A tiny village near Ngcobo has become a killing field, with an average of one person a month dying in a hail of ...

By Lulamile Feni

Police arrest 13 after four Qumbu youths slain

Just hours after a Qumbu herdsman discovered the bullet-riddled bodies of four young men in an open field, police ...

By Lulamile Feni

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