AfriForum to prosecute Thandi Modise for animal abuse
Civil rights group AfriForum’s private prosecution unit is gunning for chairwoman of the National Council of Provinces, Thandi Modise, on charges of cruelty to animals at her farm in North West.
The unit’s head, advocate Gerrie Nel, said they have already informed the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) about Modise’s private prosecution move.
“AfriForum’s private prosecution unit investigated the matter and concluded that there is prima facie evidence to successfully prosecute Modise. It is essential to institute private prosecution to ensure that justice prevails,” Nel said in Pretoria on Thursday.
He said they approached the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) to assist with the case after the NPA declined to prosecute.
Marcelle Meredith, NSPCA executive director, said they responded to a complaint received in July 2014 about animal cruelty at Modise’s farm and came across one of the cruellest cases of animal abuse that the animal welfare organisation had ever seen.
“The NSPCA can prosecute in their own right should the Director of Public Prosecutions refuse to prosecute. We today advised the NPA that (Nel) will act as the prosecutor on the private prosecution case on the charges of animal abuse against Modise,” Meredith said.
She said the abuse of animals on Modise’s farm was some of the worst abuses they have ever dealt with, saying the animals were left to their own mercy and many died of hunger. On arrival at Modise’s farm, inspectors found the farm littered with carcasses of over 50 pigs and other dead animals such as geese, ducks, sheep and goats.
The surviving animals, including pigs, sheep, chickens and goats, were left without food and water. The starving pigs ended up cannibalising other animals out of desperation and the NSPCA had to put down 162 animals due to their deprived conditions.