The Potchefstroom Regional Court on Friday dismissed the animal cruelty case against National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise.
This was after Modise’s legal team brought an application to have six counts of animal cruelty against her discharged in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
The court found Modise could not be held responsible for the crimes committed on her North West farm.
She was privately prosecuted by AfriForum’s private prosecution unit on behalf of the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA). In 2017, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decided it would not prosecute Modise.
Modise was represented by advocate Dali Mpofu who on Thursday brought the application for discharge.
The case stems from a complaint received in July 2014 by the NSPCA about the alleged neglect of animals on Modise’s Modderfontein farm in the district of Tlokwe.
According to the charge sheet, some animals were found dead on the farm and others were neglected and in an ill-treated state.
More than 50 pigs and a number of other animals, including sheep, chickens and geese, were already dead when the NSPCA first inspected the farm. A further 224 animals had to be euthanased, the charge sheet read.
Modise pleaded not guilty to the charges against her and maintained she was innocent.
The court found that the caretaker of Modise’s farm should be held responsible for the crimes and subsequently found her not guilty.
The six charges fell under the Animals Protection Act and it was alleged that Modise:
- Ill-treated and neglected the animals on her farm by failing to procure and/or provide adequate feed for the animals on her farm;
- Unnecessarily starved and/or under-fed and/or denied water or food to the animals on her farm by failing to procure and/or provide adequate feed and water for the animals on her farm;
- Confined and restrained the animals on her farm without making adequate provision for suitable food, potable water and rest for such animals in circumstances where it was necessary;
- Deliberately or without reasonable cause or excuse, abandoned the animals, whether permanently or not, in circumstances that were likely to cause the animals unnecessary suffering.
Additional reporting by News24 Wire