Inspectors from the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) and King Williamstown SPCA were held against their will at the Al Mawashi Feedlot situated at Castledale Farm in Berlin, Eastern Cape, on 24 August 2020. The Inspectors were held captive by more than 35 staff, including management, employed by livestock export company Al Mawashi / KLTT.
Al Mawashi’s staff demanded that National Inspector Singh provide them with an answer as to when the ship, the Al Messilah, which at the time was anchored at the Port of East London, will be allowed to leave South Africa with the sheep. With the matter being sub judice at the time, the Inspectors could not answer their queries and advised that they should consult their legal counsel. The crowd then surrounded and threatened that both Inspectors would not be allowed to leave the farm until an answer was forthcoming.
“One of the supervisors gave me an ultimatum to contact my manager, and have all criminal charges dropped against Al Mawashi staff. As well as having the High Court interdict set aside, and to allow them to load the sheep and then we would be released”, stated Inspector Singh. “Members of management appeared to be inciting the staff members by stating that the NSPCA was falsely accusing them of abusing animals and breaking sheep legs for fun”, added Inspector Singh.
Grace de Lange, Manager of the NSPCA’s Farm Animal Protection Unit, contacted Mr Ilyaas Ally, South Africa’s Managing Director for Al Mawashi, who was cooperative – the two Inspectors were released.
The NSPCA contacted the South African Police Services, but by the time they arrived at the farm, the staff had already left for the day. “The NSPCA laid criminal charges at the Berlin SAPS against at least five members of Al Mawashi management staff and some 30 feedlot staff,” said Inspector Singh.