Poaching carnage at Randveld farm

Randveld, a farm between Otjiwarongo and Outjo, fell victim to a poaching spree on Sunday morning.

10 September 2020 | Crime

ESTER KAMATI

OTJIWARONGO



Three poachers brutally killed eight calves and mutilated six more on the farm Randveld of Jacques Swartz at around 02:00 on Sunday.

The calves were attacked with spears and axes, and their intestines were ripped out. Swartz said he and a few watchmen were doing their night patrol – something they started doing regularly after a similar incident last month when four cattle were killed in a similar incident.

When they saw the patrol vehicle, the poachers ran off into the bush, whereupon Swartz informed the neighbourhood watch and the police of the poachers on his farm.

Mohenn Oiva, with assistance from the Otjiwarongo-based private detective Joel Paulus, the town's neighbourhood watch and members of the Namibian police, started a search at around 04:00 to find the poachers, but to no avail.

However, they discovered some of the poachers' belongings on the farm, including clothes, spears and a backpack that contained the intestines of one of the poached animals. It is suspected that the poachers left these items behind in their haste to flee the scene.

Paulus and his team are still tracking the runaway poachers.



All hands on deck

The Otjiwarongo Neighbourhood Watch and community members have been helping to fight poaching in the area.

Eben du Plessis, who is part of the group, urges the community to help one another in the fight against poaching of livestock and wildlife at farms, adding that the number of poachers is increasing rapidly.

A spokesperson of the Nyime private law enforcement and anti-poaching unit said poachers are becoming cleverer and less subtle, and that these incidents have become regular not just at Otjiwarongo and Outjo, but across the entire country.

Nyime advises farmers to be aware of what is happening on their property and to do regular farm inspections, since poachers are using all kinds of methods and it is important to recognise the patterns.

The spokesperson said that 80% of poaching is for commercial use and selling.

“It is sad because the value of the animals being poached is far more that what they are being sold for.”



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