Watch it, you could buy a stolen goat

MPUMALANGA police have warned the community of rural Nkomazi to be very careful when buying goats from strangers because most of them are usually stolen from neighbouring Swaziland.

MPUMALANGA police have warned the community of rural Nkomazi to be very careful when buying goats from strangers because most of them are usually stolen from neighbouring Swaziland.

In at least two incidents police recovered goats believed to have been stolen from across the borders and sold to South Africans.

Tonga police inspector John Mabila told a local radio station yesterday that a bakkie transporting a number of goats overturned, injuring some of the goats that had been stolen from Swaziland.

The driver had arranged with some boys to buy him about 10 goats in Swaziland. They later called him to their kraal in Masibekela village, near the Mananga border post to Swaziland, saying they had bought the goats.

He claimed that he went to the village and bought the goats from the boys and drove away, only to lose control of his vehicle on Monday night.

Some goats were injured in the accident but the driver escaped unscathed. The police wanted to know where he had found the goats.

"We later found that the goats had been stolen in Swaziland and brought to South Africa by boys sent by the accused to buy on his behalf.

Instead of buying the goats the boys stole them and sold them to the man at R1 500 each," Mabila said.

The man was arrested and was expected to appear in the local magistrate's court. The police are searching for the boys who might have been his accomplices.

He said the police believed the goat business was booming in the Nkomazi area, with foreign shop owners buying them for rituals.

Mabila said the South African Police were interacting with their Swaziland counterparts in the hope of finding the owners of the goats.

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