In 2019, after finding two cubs in a severely compromised state of health, the NSPCA laid criminal charges of animal cruelty against their owner. The cubs, known Karlos and Ivana, were confiscated by the NSPCA, and the story of their rescue and journey to recovery became a media sensation shortly after being shared by the NSPCA. It soon became common knowledge that Mr. Steinman stood accused of animal cruelty, and only then was the NSPCA compelled to admit that Mr. Steinman had been listed as the accused in the NSPCAs case for Karlos and Ivana.
Mr. Steinman and certain companies in 2019, sued the NSPCA in the sum of over R13 million for allegedly defaming him and causing him a loss of income.
In January 2023, after almost four years of defending the matter, Honorable Justice Snyman from the Mafikeng High Court dismissed the claim against the NSPCA and one of its inspectors, with costs.
‘The NSPCA feels vindicated with this judgement, and, if anything, winning this case has only strengthened the NSPCAs spirit to fight for what is right, and continue our work to protect and stand up for animals regardless of what challenges we may face in doing so.” – National Senior Inspector Douglas Wolhuter, Manager, Wildlife Protection Unit, NSPCA.
Mr. Steinman and his companies have applied for Leave to appeal this decision, but a date for argument has yet to be allocated.
Mr. Steinman still faces charges of animal cruelty in the NSPCAs case regarding the abuse of Karlos and Ivana which is still ongoing. If Mr. Steinman is found guilty, he faces imprisonment, a fine, or both, as well as a criminal record.
The NSPCA extends its sincere appreciation to its legal team from Marston & Taljaard and Advocate Ciska Bezuidenhout for their support and commitment to the NSPCA throughout the defamation case.