AfriForum says steps have been taken to ensure she appears in court. As reports emerge that the outgoing chairperson of the National Council of Provinces could be elected as the next speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise is haunted by the ghosts of animals that died on her farm five years ago.
Civil society lobby group AfriForum insists that Modise face the music for neglecting the animals she kept on her farm in North West, many of which died after they were neither fed nor given water.
AfriForum’s private prosecution unit spokesperson, Wico Swanepoel, who is one of the unit’s prosecutors, confirmed yesterday that Modise was expected to appear in the Potchefstroom Regional Court on June 21 to face charges of animal abuse.
This after a section J175 subpoena was issued to Modise to account for alleged cruelty to animals.
“Steps have been taken to ensure she appears in court. But we have not yet received a response from her,” Swanepoel said.
He said the unit would be represented by advocates Gerrie Nel and Phyllis Vorster, who took up the matter after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) failed to follow up on a charge laid by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) in 2014.
The NSPCA complained after it was tipped off in July 2014 that more than 100 animals were dead on Modise’s farm due to starvation and lack of water. When the NSPCA visited the farm, it found the carcasses of 58 pigs and other dead animals, including geese, ducks, sheep and goats.
Living pigs were cannibalizing the dead ones and reportedly drinking their own urine.
The NSPCA had to put down 162 surviving animals, including pigs, sheep, chickens, and goats.
“The investigation has been concluded and steps have been taken to bring Modise before the court. The summons was successfully served and she must appear in court on June 21. This will be the first appearance and the case will most likely be postponed in order to set a trial date,” AfriForum said.
Statements had been acquired from witnesses by AfriForum’s private prosecution’s unit investigator, Elias Maangwale. Nel left the NPA to head the AfriForum unit and this is one of several cases the unit had taken over after the NPA failed to prosecute. Others included the prosecution against former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane.
It also pursued Modise.
Attempts to get a comment from Modise were fruitless yesterday and her phone remained off the whole day.