The hearing of Thandi Modise, Speaker of Parliament, on charges of cruelty to animals started in the Potchefstroom Regional Court today. Adv. Gerrie Nel, Head of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, is prosecuting Modise privately on behalf of the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA). Modise pleaded not guilty on all six charges of cruelty to animals.
During the morning recess a representative of the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) however delayed the continuation of the proceedings by disrupting the court and shouting that he wanted to break Adv. Nel’s nose. According to this man the prosecution of the Speaker of Parliament for the death of pigs is a waste of time. Members of the SAPS however removed the man from court and prevented the situation from escalating.
“We welcome the fast action by police members in removing the agitator and maintaining order in the court. The Private Prosecution Unit is also satisfied with the course of the court proceedings today, as well as the fact that the hearing finally started today since the alleged crime already took place in 2014,” says Andrew Leask, Head Investigator of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit.
The prosecuting team called two witnesses today: Warrant Officer Andrew Serame and Grace de Lange (of the Farm Animal Protection Unit of the NSPCA).
De Lange testified that this was one of the worst cases of cruelty to animals that she has come across in her career of almost 20 years. She testified that she saw how pigs drank their own and each other’s urine, because there was no water or food. Other pigs also charged a sow that gave birth and devoured the litter immediately after birth. “It shows just how desperate the animals were. More than 250 animals suffered at Modise’s farm, Modderfontein, due to malnutrition and the NSPCA had to kill several animals because they were in such a bad condition.”