The NSPCA is outraged that it has been almost four years since the two cases against the South African Army Special Infantry Capability (SAASIC) Unit members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) have been opened and neither of the cases has made any progress in terms of prosecution.
In May 2018, the NSPCA laid criminal charges due to the gross neglect of horses under the care of the SAASIC Unit in Potchefstroom. 25 of the horses were in such a compromised state of health that euthanasia was necessary to prevent further suffering. The NSPCA obtained ownership of an additional 69 of the horses who were also in a severely compromised state.
A second case was opened in January 2019 where NSPCA inspectors witnessed members of the SANDFs SAASIC unit brutally kick and beat their horses during an inspection. All of those horses were subsequently removed by the NSPCA, two of whom had to be euthanized.
The NSPCA has been following up on these cases religiously since their opening. Each time, we are met with a new hurdle as to why the cases have not progressed in court yet.
First, we were unable to get a hold of the investigating detectives, which resulted in the NSPCA having to send a senior inspector to Potchefstroom to follow up in person. That is when we were informed that both dockets were allegedly missing.
The NSPCA was also initially misinformed by the SAPS stating that the dockets were delivered to court, which was not the case.
The NSPCA continued to vigorously follow up on the cases and we have now been told by the detective commander in Potchefstroom that the military police have failed to secure and submit the outstanding details of the identified SANDF individuals in the dockets.
The investigating officer has been instructed to return to court and present these developments to the Senior Public Prosecutor and request that SAPS 205s be issued to serve on the National Head of Defence.
The NSPCA questions whether this case will ever be taken seriously by the SANDF, whose lack of cooperation is a clear indication of their disinterest to animal welfare and the law.
The SANDF is reminded that the National Council of SPCAs is an organisation that will never give up when it comes to animal welfare related issues.