The National Council of SPCAs acknowledges with heartfelt appreciation the significant outcome of the case against Margaretha Catherina (Rina) Joubert. Dedication, commitment and foresight throughout this case’s proceedings has resulted in a judgement that leaves no doubt about the punishment that awaits individuals who mistreat these dogs.
“We feel that justice was sought and received for the animals and that the sentencing sends out a significant warning to anyone abusing an animal in our country.”
Mrs Joubert was sentenced to a total fine of R30 000.00 or 15 months imprisonment in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrates Court on 02 February 2016 after electing not to continue with the trial proceedings and choosing to enter into a plea bargain with the State relating to charges laid in terms of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962 by the NSPCA.
R20 000.00 of the fine or 10 months of the prison term were suspended for 5 years on condition that Ms Joubert does not obstruct the NSPCA or contravene any section of the Animals Protection Act during that period.
Magistrate Buks du Plessis further Ruled that Mrs Joubert must pay costs incurred by the NSPCA, this being a total of R15 690.00 over a period of 10 months. Failure to do so would result in her arrest and the suspended portion of her sentence being enforced.
The matter began in March 2014 when the NSPCA reacted to information received and went to inspect the animals kept on Mrs Margaretha Catherina Joubert’s Vanderbijlpark property. Despite the NSPCA being in possession of a Warrant, access was initially denied. This incident was referred to in the Magistrate’s closing comments when he emphasised the seriousness of the blatant disregard of a Magistrate’s Order by denying the NSPCA entry and further obstructing the Inspectors in the execution of their duties.
Having gained entry, NSPCA personnel found the overall hygiene standards to be very low with concerns ranging from filthy water bowls, flea infestations of the numerous chained pit-bull terrier dogs, substandard shelter and decomposing dog food;- in addition to severe animal welfare contraventions which included a number of animals in need of immediate veterinary attention. These animals had untreated conditions, malnutrition, infected injuries, ulcerated tumours, infection of the bone, painful dental conditions and broken teeth and one animal with a broken and disintegrating jaw. 23 animals were removed due to the extent of their injuries and untreated conditions.
The NSPCA makes reference to the closing comments of the Magistrate who commended the work of the NSPCA, stating that animals cannot speak for themselves.
“Rina” Joubert’s alleged ex husband Mr Johannes “Fanie” Joubert was arrested at a dog fight in 2011 in Plettenburg Bay and then convicted under the Animal Fights section of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962.
In 2012 he again pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges laid against him in a separate case and was again convicted for contraventions in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 for the manner in which he kept dogs and their neglected condition on his Roodepoort property.