On Friday, a truck carrying cows and travelling on the N1 highway, not far from the Gasmere Plaza tollgate and about 20km north of Vanderbijlpark, caught fire and its wheels burned, Sedibeng Ster reports.
The trailer carrying the livestock caught fire at approximately 04:00 as the truck was heading towards Joburg.
All eight of the wheels at the back of the two axis were completely burnt. Five of the cattle in the back of the trailer succumbed to the flames.
Emfuleni Fire and Rescue extinguished the fire.
Members of the SPCA were called out and two more cattle were euthanised on the scene. Four other cattle that tried to run away were hit by vehicles on the highway and died.
The SPCA tried to control the traffic until 06:00 when the Traffic Department arrived.
Residents of the township nearby were running back and forth across the highway to move the carcasses from the trailer.
They started slaughtering the carcasses on the middleman right next to the highway.
Armed with weapons such as pangas, knives, butcher knives, axes, bags and wheelbarrows they carried the meat away, piece by piece.
Some of the cattle were burnt to a crisp and those who came for their piece of the action had to be satisfied with the intestines that were left behind.
All that was left after a while were some horns and some blood spatter.
The SPCA organised transport for the cattle that survived and they were taken to a place where they were given food and water.
– Caxton News Service