Roodepoort Regional Court Magistrate, the Honourable Mr van Niekerk, was clear during his judgement that violent animal abuse will not be tolerated in his court. Before delivering the sentence of the 3 accused men who pleaded guilty in the face of overwhelming evidence against them, he carefully explained that it fell upon him as a magistrate to ensure that not only were all the vulnerable in a community protected, but that violence in all its forms was punished.
During aggravation of sentence, Senior Inspector Willson of the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) Special Investigations Unit explained in detail, not only the devastating effect that this violent animal abuse has on a community but also, how two of the accused, after making their dogs engage in bloody battle – then dragged the bleeding, dehydrated animals, both of whom were grievously injured and suffering from broken bones, a distance of nearly 2km through the veld in an attempt to evade the pursuing law enforcement officers.
The increasing seriousness that the courts are viewing this crime was evident in that, despite pleading guilty, the three accused all received direct imprisonment sentences. Retshidisitswe Steve Mohoyo, who was watching the fight is the first spectator to receive direct imprisonment of 10 months and an additional period of suspended imprisonment that comes into effect if he is caught offending again.
Fortis Security Controller, Teboho Godfrey Tabethe (36), and mechanic, Bongani Cullen Radebe (23), were both sentenced to 32 months imprisonment and a further period of suspended imprisonment. Additionally they were declared by the court to be unfit to own any species of animal in the future.
The NSPCA wishes to thank Advanced Regional Court Prosecutor, Kelebogile Sibi, who was persistent in fighting for the silent victims in this court case, and the South African Police Service officers of the Westrand K9 Unit, who support the NSPCA in their fight against premeditated dog fighting.
Statistics indicate that 70% of animal abusers have committed at least one other criminal offence, and 40% have committed violent crimes against people. Please help the Special Investigations Unit to continue their pursuit and prosecution of violent criminals by blowing the whistle on perpetrators, and donating to the NSPCA by clicking on the following link:- https://nspca.co.za/donate/