Five people were arrested for allegedly stealing 30 sheep, which were loaded into a taxi in Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape on Friday morning.
According to police spokesperson Captain Ursula Roelofse, police followed up on information that the sheep were being transported in the taxi early on Friday morning.
Roelofse said the five people were allegedly part of a syndicate operating in the Eastern Cape and Free State.
The men, aged 22 to 39, are expected to appear in the Aliwal North Magistrate's Court on Monday.
Deputy Cluster Commander Colonel Mpho Rabela commended the members on the excellent success as stock theft is a priority crime in the area. The arrest of the members of the syndicate will also make linkage to other cases possible, Rabela said.
Earlier this month, Eastern Cape police rescued 25 sheep that had been stolen and stashed in a hole in the ground, News24 reported.
Spokesperson Tembinkosi Kinana said the sheep were found in the hole at a farm in the Avondale policing precinct at Mt Fletcher after a tip-off."On arrival at the scene, they indeed found about 25 livestock hidden in the dark hole," said Kinana.
The farmer had noticed them missing when he woke up on Saturday, but they were recovered by the unit on the same day.
His livestock was handed back to him but the sheep rustlers are still at large.