Thandi Modise, former chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and current Speaker of the National Assembly, appeared in the Potchefstroom Regional Court on Monday for the first time on charges of animal cruelty. The case was postponed to 30 October 2019 when Modise will plead on the charges.
The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) was approached by Advocate Gerrie Nel to take this case on a private prosecution after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declined to prosecute the case.
In July 2014 the NSPCA obtained a warrant to inspect the animals on a farm in the North West Province belonging to Thandi Modise, this was after receiving a tip-off that animals on the property had been abandoned.
Modise’s farm was littered with the carcasses of over 50 pigs and other dead animals, such as geese, ducks, sheep, and goats.
Over 100 pigs, sheep, chickens and goats were found without food and water and the animals were found dead and dying. The animals were so desperately hungry, they were feeding off carcasses, cannibalising, and eating new born young. It was one of the cruellest cases of animal abuse that the NSPCA had come across. These animals were denied basic minimum care and suffered neglect, and starvation.
The NSPCA also announced that Afriforum would be privately prosecuting a dairy farmer on behalf of the NSPCA. The NSPCA undertook inspections at Malati Dairy in Gravelotte, Limpopo where they found calves being confined in single pens and unnecessarily chained in the crates. Warnings were issued to the farmer who refused to comply and charges were laid. The NPA declined to prosecute this case as well.
“The NSPCA is indebted to Gerrie Nel and the legal team of Afriforum, without whom justice would not even be a possibility due to the enormous investigative processes and the invaluable legal experience of the legal team. As said by Mahatma Gandhi: ‘The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated’ “said Marcelle Meredith, executive director of the NSPCA.