Heavy rains turn Limpopo village into a playground for crocodiles

Moyahabo Mabeba

Following the recent heavy rains in Leeuwfontein village, residents are making sure they don’t bump into a crocodile on their doorsteps.

That is because, after downpours, the Leeuwfontein RDP section near Marble Hall in Sekhukhune in Limpopo has become a playground for crocodiles.

Resident Bontle Mampuru said two crocodiles were spotted in the yard, creeping closer to the house.

The neighbourhood does not have electricity, making it almost impossible to spot the deadly reptiles at night.

“I first spotted the crocodile last week. It was about 1,5 meters long and scary. I thought it was just the one but two days later I saw another one which was a bit smaller. It came into the yard under the fence because the area is soaking wet and muddy.”

Bontle, who stays with her son, said they are being held hostage by the crocodiles.

“I alerted the Sekhukhune District Municipality and they sent officials. They saw one of them and tried to shoot it but it disappeared into the muddy water. On Saturday, they sent another official who fired several shots but missed. He promised to come back on Monday with a bigger gun. I am still scared because these officials are not helping.”

Local resident Mamakgane Matjeding said the crocodiles have already eaten ducks and chickens.

“We have lost many chickens. We are appealing to authorities to act swiftly and capture them,” she said.

Moloko Moloto the spokesperson for the Sekhukhune District Municipality said officials from the Community Services Departments and officials from the World Life Trade and Regulation from the Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism Department have a plan to capture the crocodiles.

“Residents must stay on  high alert, especially at night until the reptiles are captured. The municipality also encourages traditional leaders to first get in touch with ward councillors and the district municipality before handing out stands to people to avoid allocating stands on wetlands.”

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