WHILE car hijackings are keeping Gauteng police on their toes, Limpopo police are dealing with an increase in donkey theft.
They are not being stolen for use as a mode of transport but for their skins.
The skin is allegedly in demand in China, where it is believed to have medicinal properties that helps delay menopause.
Police spokesman Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe could not confirm why donkeys are being stolen, despite the increase in the number of cases opened in different parts of the province.
A recent case is that of three men in Burgersfort who were seen slaughtering a donkey.
They were allegedly going to sell its skin to a Chinese man.
Ngoepe said the incident was reported to the police too late.
He said: “We appeal to our people to call the police while these barbaric acts are taking place. The three suspects are on the run.
“We have never experienced anything like this as a province. We are still investigating to try and find out why the donkeys are being stolen.”
One of the people hardest hit by the theft is gogo Makgabo Semenya (56) of Ga-Nkidikitlana, in Moletji.
Four of her donkeys were allegedly stolen in February.
Makgabo said her livelihood depended on them. She used them to fetch water, firewood and sand to sell to locals.
“I inherited the donkeys from my late husband and they helped make ends meet.”
Ngoepe has advised members of the community to secure their livestock and also mark them in case they are found.