A commercial farmer from neighbouring South Africa is allegedly buying cheap donkeys from Zimbabwean criminals in Beitbridge and feeding them to his lions.

Mr Peet Bezuidenhout, who owns Popallin Safari Ranch situated on the banks of the Limpopo River in Tshipise, is accused by villagers living in the Limpopo area of working in cahoots with organised syndicates.

Reports indicate that the white farmer through one of his workers, was buying stolen donkeys for as little as R300.

One Patrick Ndou, a former employee at the farm also confirmed that his former boss would buy Zimbabwe stolen donkeys to feed his lions.

“It is not a secret that Popallin Ranch Peet is a market for stolen donkeys. In fact, Peet (Bezuidenhout) uses his workers who are Zimbabweans to link up with thieves who then sell him stolen donkeys,” he said.

The chairperson of the Ipfi Lavho Ramadanga (The Voice of Farmers) committee, Mr Frank Nguluvhe, said the stolen donkeys were smuggled into the neighbouring country through the Madimbo Corridor.

Beitbridge based politician Tambudzani Mohadi confirmed to journalists that donkeys were being stolen and smuggled to South Africa.

“Yes, donkeys are being smuggled into South Africa where they are fed to lions. This is quite disturbing and we urge police to intensify their investigations so that the culprits are brought to book,” she said.