AfriForum’s private prosecution unit is acting on behalf of the NSPCA, which opened cases of animal abuse against the SANDF’s Specialists Infantry Capability in May 2018.
PRETORIA – AfriForum’s private prosecution unit has lodged a service complaint with North West provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Sello Kwena against two senior detectives due to the perceived lack of progress with an investigation.
The detectives were appointed to oversee and conclude investigations in the matter where the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) allegedly abused and neglected its horses outside Potchefstroom.
AfriForum’s private prosecution unit is acting on behalf of the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) in this matter.
The NSPCA opened cases of animal abuse against the SANDF’s Specialists Infantry Capability in May 2018 “because horses were allegedly being neglected and starved at the army terrain outside Potchefstroom”.
According to Andrew Leask, chief investigator at AfriForum’s private prosecution unit, AfriForum shares the NSPCA’s frustration with the “lacklustre approach” to the investigation.
“It seems that the investigating officers are inexplicably dragging their feet with this investigation. The only inference that can be drawn is that the SAPS is either inept or being influenced to drop the case. We form the ineluctable conclusion that the proverbial tail is wagging the dog and that the SANDF and the suspects, instead of the police, are directing the pace of the investigation,” Leask said.
“According to the NSPCA the neglect was of such a serious nature that some of the horses had to eat their own faeces and soil. Twenty-five horses also had to be euthanised due to the emaciated condition they were in.”
Leask said four years have passed despite police being handed comprehensive case dockets by the NSPCA.
“Despite four years already having elapsed since the filing of the charges of animal abuse, and the fact that the NSPCA compiled comprehensive case dockets and provided it to the police for further investigation, it seems that there has not been any progress with the investigation yet,” Leask said.
“Furthermore, despite many requests for feedback, the detective management from SAPS are also refusing to respond or provide any feedback on the matter to AfriForum or the NSPCA.”
Last year, Defence Minister Thandi Modise was acquitted on six charges of animal neglect in the Potchefstroom regional court. She was National Assembly Speaker at the time.
AfriForum had privately prosecuted Modise on behalf of the NSPCA after several carcasses of sheep, ducks and at least 50 pigs were found on her Modderfontein farm in the North West in 2014.