NSPCA inspector Petro Oosthuizen said the truck, carrying 139 pigs to an abattoir, overturned near the town on Tuesday afternoon.
The driver was seriously injured and transported to hospital.
She said she and four colleagues had euthanased 53 injured pigs, and the owner of the animals, a farmer from the Vryheid district, was informed of the accident.
“We decided to wait with the remaining pigs, until the owner arrived.”
A shocked Oosthuizen said that suddenly, “as if out of nowhere”, a crowd of people descended on the accident scene.
Some of the animals were picked up by their back legs and others were dragged off.
All the pig carcasses and the 86 live pigs were carried off, while the local police reportedly declined to intervene.
“We begged them to help us to protect the pigs but they said they were powerless against such a large crowd,” Oosthuizen said. – Sapa