The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Thandi Modise, will beprivately prosecuted by Adv. Gerrie Nel, head of the civil rights organisation AfriForom’s private prosecuting unit on behalf of thePrevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA).
The move comes after the NSPCA visited Modise’s farm four years ago and discovered that all the animals on the farm had, allegedly, been without food and water for two weeks, and were left to their own mercy to survive. There were no farm workers on the farm, the farm was without electricity and water pumps were not working.
Among the neglected animals counted pigs, sheep, geese, goats and ducks. The NCSPCA had to euthanise 162 animals due to the very weak condition they were in, while they also discovered the carcasses of more than 50 other animals. Some of the surviving starved pigs were said to have fed on pig carcasses for survival. At the time the NSPCA filed criminal charges against Modise. Yet, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in 2017 found that there was not sufficient evidence for a successful prosecution.
Modise claims that the farm workers left without giving notice and that she visited the farm every two weeks. She also said that she personally kept abreast of issues on the farm. According to her, she also thought that everything was going smoothly while her manager was on leave for two weeks and an acting manager was appointed to perform his duties.
According to Adv. Gerrie Nel, AfriForum’s prosecuting unit investigated the case and found prima facie evidence for the successful prosecution of Modise. He added that it is necessary to institute private prosecution to ensure that justice is done.
“No-one is exalted above the law. This is the worst case that the NSPCA has ever had to deal with. It is a very serious case. We are pleased that the NSPCA worked with us, and we quickly realised that they are people who really have animal interests at heart,” Nel said.
The NSPCA today advised the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) that Adv. Gerrie Nel would be the prosecutor in the private prosecution case on charges of animal cruelty against Modise.
“The cruelty to the animals on Modise’s farm was some of the worst cases that we have ever come across. The animals were left to their own devices and many animals died of hunger,” Marcelle Meredith, executive director of the NSPCA, said.