Stolen goats found crammed in minibus

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Police in Ladysmith in northern KwaZulu-Natal arrested three men transporting 23 stolen goats in a taxi.

The men were on their way to Estcourt.

Members of the Stock Theft Unit on routine patrol came across the taxi parked on the side of the road between Colenso and Estcourt.

Police spokesman Captain Charmaine Struwig said: "On closer inspection of the taxi, officers were surprised to find 23 goats squashed in like sardines.

"The suspects could not explain their passengers' [goats] origins or their destination. They were arrested for possession of stolen property."

Struwig said they suspected the goats were stolen in either the Ekuvukeni or Ezakheni areas in the last two weeks.

Inspector Siphiwe Buthelezi said: "The goats appeared to have been stolen from a single owner because they all had the same ear markings.

"We have been investigation a number of stock theft cases in the area."

S'thabiso Mdakane, the owner of the taxi, expressed shock at the fact that his taxi had been involved in criminal activity.

"I'm surprised that my driver gave my car to a stranger to transport stolen goats. I have never heard of goats being transported in taxis. My drivers know that they are not allowed to give my cars to other people," he said.

"The engine will be damaged because the car was overloaded with 26 'passengers', including the driver and two other occupants.

"I do not even know when I will get my money for transporting these 'passengers'. I have asked the police to arrest my driver because he was involved in this thing."

Police believe the goats were being transported to a well-known businessman who was arrested in Polokwane last week for buying stolen goats.

The owner of the goats is requested to contact Inspector Buthelezi.