Two butchery owners from Mpumalanga appeared in court in connection with stock theft.
Stock theft has plagued several villages in the province for some time now.
Phineas Leballo, of Leballo Butchery in Lefiso village, and Selle Sekgabi, of Sekgabi Butchery in Marapyane, were not asked to plead when they appeared in the Vaalbank magistrate's court yesterday.
They were released on R500 bail each.
The police said there was a possibility that a syndicate of cattle thieves was operating in some of the province's remote areas.
Many farmers in the area face an uphill battle against stock theft, with at least 80 cases of cattle theft reported at Marapyane and Lefiso this year alone.
"The two were arrested when police caught them red-handed selling a slaughtered stolen cow at a pension payout point in the village," police spokesman David Mogodi said.
"When the police arrived on the scene, they recovered meat from the slaughtered cow."
The police said Sekgabi had also been implicated in several other stock theft cases committed around the Dr JS Moroka municipality.
The case was postponed until next month pending investigations.