North West man mauled to death by two pit bulls guarding local tavern

Suthentira Govender Senior reporter
A North West man was mauled to death by two pit bulls at a tavern on Saturday. Stock pic
A North West man was mauled to death by two pit bulls at a tavern on Saturday. Stock pic
Image: 133228142/123rf

North West police are conducting an inquest into the death of a man who was allegedly mauled by two pit bulls at a tavern during the early hours of Saturday.

Police spokesperson Lt-Col Amanda Funani told TimesLIVE the tavern at Mogwase near Rustenburg was closed when the 39-year-old man scaled the wall of the property for reasons unknown.

“Patrons were instructed to leave the tavern at closing time, which was around 2am on Saturday morning.

“The tavern owner closed the place but the guy went back. We don’t know why. The gates were locked.”

The man was certified dead by paramedics.

Funani said as things stand the tavern owner won’t be charged.

“For now we cannot charge him with murder because it’s not like he instructed his dogs to attack the man.

“According to witnesses, this is the normal procedure of the owner. When he closes the tavern, he unleashes the dogs because of safety, to protect the property. The tavern owner does not live on the property.”

Funani said for now police have opened an inquest docket.

“The case is going to go to court. Should our investigations prove otherwise we can then change the charge to murder.

“We are not saying he is not going to be arrested, we can change the charge. As far as we know the police handed the dogs over to the SPCA.”

It is understood the dogs have since been put down by the SPCA.

The incident comes in the wake of several pit bull attacks recently throughout South Africa and has given rise to a petition campaign by charity organisation the Sizwe Kupelo Foundation calling for the government to ban pit bulls.

Over 133,000 people have lent their support for the campaign so far.

“The defence by pit bull lovers that it is how you raise the dog does not hold water. So many people, including joggers have been attacked and killed by pit bulls.

“It is time that the South African government takes decisive steps and imposes a complete ban on the ownership of pit bulls as domestic animals. Such a move would prevent further attacks and unnecessary deaths. We cannot continue sending out messages of condolences for something that can easily be prevented,” the petition reads.