Thandi Modise’s farm manager denies threats, says he was called a kaf**r

2014-07-29 16:25

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National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise’s farm manager has denied threatening two National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) inspectors with violence, claiming he saved them from harm at the hands of farm workers.

Speaking to Sapa by phone today, Neo Moepi – who also acts as Modise’s farm spokesperson – accused the inspectors of saying to him: “‘n Kaf**r kan nie ‘n plaas beheer nie [A kaf**r cannot control a farm].”

The alleged remark has been firmly denied by the NSPCA.

Earlier today, it was reported that two NSPCA inspectors were expected to lay charges against Moepi and a farm manager after they allegedly threatened to kick the inspectors’ car and set it alight, and grabbed a cellphone and erased recordings.

Read: NSPCA officers ‘bullied’ on Thandi Modise’s farm

Moepi told Sapa he was driving to the farm from Potchefstroom and was about 10km away when a worker called to tell him there were two NSPCA inspectors on the farm.

“I was told they had jumped the fence and opened the gate, and were harassing everybody. I told [the worker who phoned] ‘Leave them, I’m coming’.”

When he arrived, “they were taking pictures of the cattle, and they had syringes in their hands”.

He told the inspectors to leave, saying they had no right to be there and that he was in charge.

“They wanted to know my name, but I told them that they should leave the property and once they were outside we could engage.”

He said they had been speaking in English, but one of the inspectors had switched to Afrikaans and told him “’n Kaf**r kan nie ’n plaas beheer nie [A kaf**r cannot control a farm]”.

Moepi claimed the inspectors had used the word ‘kaf**r’ while speaking to some of the farm workers, which had angered the workers.

Contacted for comment, NSPCA executive director Marcelle Meredith denied Moepi’s claim.

“We have black, Indian and white members of our inspection units. None of them would make a remark like that ... They are playing the race card.”

“We are definitely laying charges. The matter has been reported to the police,” she said.

Moepi said the two inspectors who had visited the farm had left their vehicle for fear of the workers attacking them, and left it parked in the middle of the farm entrance. The keys were in the ignition.

He had then driven the car from the entrance gate to the edge of the tar road running past the farm, a distance of a few metres, to get it out of the way.

“I was intervening to stop a possible fight,” he said.

While he was doing this, the inspectors had taken photos with a cellphone, and accused him of trying to steal the car. The police had been called.

Moepi denied grabbing the phone, as reported, and deleting photos or recordings. He claimed the inspectors had deleted whatever was on the phone.

“No, no, they are not telling the truth. We agreed there would be no pictures ... they deleted them.”

Moepi expressed regret that “we still have whites who are racist”.

Modise’s office at Parliament declined to comment on the matter.

An official told Sapa it was not a parliamentary issue, and “there is no comment”.

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