The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) is frustrated with the lack of progress and clear lack of interest in the two cases against the South African Army Special Infantry Capability (SAASIC) Unit members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for their gross negligence and deliberate brutality of the horses in their care.

The NSPCA laid criminal charges against members of the SANDF’s SAASIC Unit for starvation and neglect of horses in May 2018, and for deliberate brutality to horses in January 2019, both cases have made no progress in spite of many follow ups from the NSPCA.

Failing to get hold of the Detectives, DT Smous and WB Tyukatha, of the South African Police Services (SAPS) in Potchefstroom on a number of occasions, a Senior Inspector from the NSPCA travelled to Potchefstroom to follow up in person with the Potchefstroom SAPS only to realise that both the dockets were missing.

Misinformation relating to these dockets was given by the SAPS, stating that both dockets had been delivered to court and it was later established that this was not the case.

The detectives confirmed that they had attempted to get statements from the accused on a number of occasions but were met with scornful refusal and hindrance into the investigation. The Officer Commanding of the SAASIC Unit allegedly told police that neither he nor any SAASIC members would provide statements.

Both cases that have received a lot of publicity, and outraged the country, have made it clear that SAASIC has a complete disregard for the country’s legal system and no remorse for the cruelty that took place at their Potchefstroom base, and the detectives involved could not be less interested.

An NSPCA officer also applied for the records and outcome of the inquiries held against SAASIC members for the abuse and neglect of the horses in both cases. This was applied for in accordance with the Promotion to Access to Information Act No 2 of 2000 (PAIA). Information with regards to this has also not been forthcoming some three months later – this can only lead to one drawing their own conclusion about the outcome of these inquiries, especially in light of the SAASIC Unit’s Officer Commanding’s refusal to cooperate with the SAPS’ investigation and the general lack of accountability.

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