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Pit bull kills East London toddler

A pit bull reportedly mauled an East London toddler to death late on Wednesday.
A pit bull reportedly mauled an East London toddler to death late on Wednesday.
Image: ALEKTA/123RF

Yet another child has been been mauled to death by a pitbull in the Eastern Cape. Police spokesperson Brig Tembinkosi Kinana said the 15-month-old boy was killed by a pitbull in Gonubie, East London, on Wednesday.

“According to the report, the boy child was playing with the neighbour’s dog [a pitbull] in Gonubie Farm when a passer-by who was walking with a dog in the proximity of the yard, was seen by the pitbull.

It is further alleged that the pitbull attempted to get out of the yard whilst barking at the passing dog. “After failing to leave the yard, the pitbull is alleged to have returned to the child and bit him in the upper body.

Subsequent to the incident, paramedics were called to transport the child to a nearby hospital, where he was reported to have succumbed to injuries sustained,” said Kinana. This is one of a series of incidents of pitbull attacks across the country.

At the weekend, two pitbull terriers mauled to death three-year-old Keketso Innocent Saule in Hennenman, Free State.

It is alleged that two pitbull terriers attacked Keketso angering residents who killed one of the dogs while the other was taken by the SPCA. The owner of the pitbulls, Lebohang Pali, was arrested and appeared in the Hennenman magistrate’s court where he is facing a charge of culpable homicide.

Pali is out on R300 bail. Earlier in the month, a pitbull jumped over the fence and killed an eight-year-old boy who was playing at his home in Bloemfontein. The attacks of children by pitbulls has intensified the calls by civil society that the breed be banned in SA.

Sizwe Kupelo Foundation is currently putting together a petition for the government to ban pitbulls and require those who have power dog breeds to get a licence from the state.

LISTEN | ‘The pit bull’s greatest enemy is misinformation’ — Pit Bull Federation of SA

However, the Pitbull Federation of SA has warned that this would be a wrong move. The organisation said it is owners who do not train their dogs properly and socialise them with children and other animals.

The department of agriculture and rural development has initiated talks with pitbull breeders to better understand what could be causing this species to behave in the manner that has been witnessed.

It said the dogs would be taken for testing and further action would be taken once this has been done.


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