Modise must tell court why she did not appear in animal cruelty case, says AfriForum

01 July 2020 - 07:50
National assembly speaker Thandi Modise faces charges of animal abuse.
Image: Sunday Times National assembly speaker Thandi Modise faces charges of animal abuse.

The Potchefstroom regional court will on Wednesday receive an explanation from national Assembly speaker Thandi Modise about why she failed to appear in court in March on charges of animal abuse, AfriForum said on Tuesday.

The organisation said this is after AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit announced last year that it would initiate a private prosecution against Modise, on behalf of the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA).

The NSPCA decided to privately prosecute after the National Prosecuting Authority decided not to prosecute Modise on animal cruelty charges.

In July 2014‚ the NSPCA obtained a warrant to inspect animals on a farm in the North West province belonging to Modise. This was after receiving a tip-off that animals on the property had been abandoned.

Modise’s farm was littered with the carcasses of more than 50 pigs and other dead animals‚ including geese‚ ducks‚ sheep and goats. More than 100 pigs‚ sheep‚ chickens and goats were found without food and water.

AfriForum said Modise’s legal representative had argued in March that Modise had been instructed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to assist with managing the Covid-19 pandemic.

The organisation said the magistrate, however, requested reasons why Modise had not been able to delegate her duties or communicate to the president that she was supposed to appear in court on serious charges.

"Modise will have to explain tomorrow why she was absent from court, after which prosecution will hopefully commence at last," the organisation said.