Cop unleashed his dog on me, says job seeker

2009-11-27 00:00

A WALK home from seeking odd jobs landed a Sweetwaters man in hospital with severe dog bites earlier this month.

Mandla Zondi claims he was walking along the railway line near Prestbury on his way home from seeking odd jobs in town on November 13 when a man unleashed his dog on him.

He saw the man coming from behind holding a leash on the dog’s neck and suddenly the canine was charging towards him. “I stood still because I could not outrun the animal. It jumped on me and held tight on my arm. I felt the excruciating pain, but I could not release my arm from its grip. Later its handler arrived and took his time to release me from the dog” said Zondi.

Minutes later, police arrived and took him to a nearby house where he was asked if he had seen any men running away from the yard.

He explained that he was walking home and had not seen people running.

After a while, alle­gedly at his request, the police took him to Northdale Hospital from where he was transferred to Greys.

His forearm was badly injured by the dog attack.

He was admitted and discharged on November 18.

“The dog’s tooth was found in the wound and the doctor took a long time cleaning the wound. Pieces of flesh were cut from my thigh to patch my arm. It was painful because staples were used, as you can see, to hold the flesh together.”

He said no criminal charges were laid against him by the police.

After he was discharged, Zondi said, he went to open a case at the Prestbury police station.

He said the police there wouldn’t do so, stating that he was caught near a crime scene.

He feels that was unfair because, although the damage was done, he was not linked to any crime. He assumes that the dog handler was a police officer and said the police would not tell him who the dog handler was or which unit he belonged to.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan said they are aware of the incident.

She said members of the Pietermaritzburg dog unit were searching the area for suspects after a spate of housebreakings and thefts from cars.

“While combing the Prestbury area for possible suspects, the man was spotted on the railway line carrying a bag.

“He fled when he saw the police,” Jeevan said.

“He was ordered to stop, but didn’t, so the dog unit member released his dog.”

Jeevan said the man was taken to hospital for treatment and later charged with the theft of a pocket of avocados from a nearby house.

She says he was fined and released.

Zondi said there were no cases against him.

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