Farms plagued by sprinkler thieves
Mpumalanga police have offered a R20000 reward to anyone who may assist them in arresting and convicting thugs who continue to steal sprinkler heads at farms around Komatipoort.
Sprinkler heads are used for watering sugar- cane on the farms.
Police said sprinkler heads, valued at more than R20000, have been stolen from several farms including Amancala, Vergenoeg, TSB, Oompi and Tenbosch in the past two months.
All incidents occurred at night, apparently when security guards were fast asleep.
The thieves are said to be scaling fences to gain entry to the farms.
Police said that last month alone saw 1152 sprinkler heads being stolen, while about 200 others were stolen this month.
Police spokesman Constable Richard Khumalo told Sowetan that it was alleged that the heads were stolen by people who used them to manufacture aluminum pots in rural areas.
"We nabbed a number of suspects, only to discover that they were innocent. Their cases were withdrawn by the courts," said Khumalo.
A supervisor at Tenbosch farm, Boy Monareng, expressed sadness at the thefts. "It costs our farm a lot of money to buy sprinkler heads and these thieves just get them for free.
"We need justice to take its course," he said.
Amancala farm's Johannes Frederick also condemned such behaviour. "This is a daily occurrence. We cannot be productive if it continues like this," he said.
People with information have been asked to call Khumalo at 082-449-0242.