Witnesses stall NCOP chair Thandi Modise's farm animal cruelty trial
The private prosecution of politician Thandi Modise relating to cruelty towards livestock on her farm near Potchefstroom has been delayed until May 6.
The case has been fought by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) against the National Council of Provinces chair since July 2014‚ when it obtained a warrant to inspect the animals on the farm in North West province.
Modise's farm was littered with the carcasses of more than 50 pigs and other animals‚ such as geese‚ ducks‚ sheep and goats. More than 100 pigs‚ sheep‚ chickens and goats were found without food or water‚ and the animals were found dead and dying.
The National Prosecuting Authority decided not to prosecute Modise on animal cruelty charges and the matter is now being pursued by AfriForum's private prosecution unit.
The civil society group said Bejani Chauke‚ who was Modise's adviser at the time that the alleged crime was committed‚ and the police's Capt Tebogo Mokolobate‚ who was the head of Modise’s security‚ had to appear in the Potchefstroom Magistrate's Court on Monday.
They were summoned as witnesses in the private prosecution.
"Chauke did appear in court and supplied an unsigned written statement. Per agreement with Chauke's legal representative‚ advocate Gerrie Nel‚ head of AfriForum's private prosecution unit‚ had the issued warrant cancelled and it was agreed that this statement be supplemented before May 6 2019‚" said AfriForum in a statement.
"Mokolobate‚ however‚ did not supply any statement and appealed for legal representation during the proceedings. Court proceedings have been postponed until May 6 2019 to enable Mokolobate to obtain legal representation."
At the time of the discovery‚ Modise said she had a farm manager who had had a family emergency. His interim replacement had allegedly disappeared.
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