Thandi Modise, Speaker of the National Assembly, failed to appear in the Potchefstroom Regional Court on charges of animal abuse against her. This follows AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit’s announcement last year that it would be privately prosecuting Modise on behalf of the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA). A warrant for her arrest was issued today pending her appearance in court on 31 March 2020.
Modise’s legal representative argued that she was asked by Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa to help manage the COVID-19-pandemic. The Magistrate wanted reasons, however, why Modise could not delegate her duties or communicate to the President that she had to appear in court on serious charges.
“Modise will have to explain on 31 March why she had been absent, after which the prosecution can hopefully commence. It is unacceptable for Modise not appearing in court today, and simply arguing that the reason for her absence is her office. No one is above the law, not even the Speaker of the National Assembly. AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit is looking forward to the commencement of the hearing on 31 March. Modise will eventually have to answer for this cruel case of animal abuse,” says Andrew Leask, Head Investigator at AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit.
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