‘Alleged animal negligence in Modise’s farm started in 2013’

SABC News Farm 1 - ‘Alleged animal negligence in Modise’s farm started in 2013’

An employee of a local animal feed supplier, Ferdi Van Aswegen, testified in the Potchefstroom Magistrate’s Court that when he delivered feed on the farm owned by National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise in November 2013, he witnessed pigs nibbling on carcasses of others.

Van Aswegen alleged that the animal negligence on the farm probably started seven months before the incident was reported in the media. In 2014, dozens of carcasses of dead animals were found on Modise’s farm.

The case dates back to 2014 when the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) got a warrant to inspect animals on the R4.8 million farm in the North West province after receiving a tip-off that animals on the property had been abandoned.

“Pigs turn, if they are hungry they turn to a little bit of cannibalism and there was especially one small pig that was nibbling on the other pig and also carcasses,” says Van Aswegen.

Thandi Modise animal cruelty trial continues in the Potchefstroom Regional Court:

Modise has pleaded not guilty to six charges of animal neglect.

Despite such testimony, the defence maintains this case is politically motivated.

Advocate Dali Mpofu says, “This entire exercise of malafide is ill-founded and it is motivated by ulterior purposes, political intentions to embarrass the accused.”

Modise says, “After six years of being tortured, of her family being displaced, of my name being used to fundraise for Afriforum, yes, I am looking forward to taking the stand.”

But the prosecution dismissed all accusations and believe they have a strong case.

AfriForum’s head of investigations Andrew Leask says, “The National Prosecuting Authority had an opportunity to prosecute on this matter. The evidence is clear, there is a case docket, the evidence is in that case docket and it will be read. We are happy that there is a prima facia case to which the accused should be called to answer.”

Although the case was set to take place for three days this week – due to unforeseen circumstances – it has been postponed to April 2021.

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