Hotel owner disputes pig story

2009-06-11 00:00

THE owner of Hebron Haven Hotel has disputed the allegations made by Robert McLelland, who said he was attacked by a potbellied sow while on a visit to the hotel.

“Pigs don’t generally fly,” said Rudolf Pöllabauer. “Onderstepoort has told us that it would be near impossible for a pig to raise its hooves to the height of a grown man’s knees,” he said.

Pöllabauer said staff at the hotel told him the pig, known as Madam, had been with the McLellands from the beginning of their walk down to the river. They were visiting the hotel on Sunday, March 29.

Pöllabauer said McLelland had issued the hotel with a hand-written expenses account, which came to a total of R3 720.

The account was broken down to R240 for doctors’ fees, R285,10 for X-ray fees, R660,17 for rabies injections, R1 000 travelling costs, R148,31 for pharmacy fees, R1 000 in hospital bills, R137 for lunch at the hotel, R34,70 undisclosed, and R250 for clothing damaged in the attack.

“We sent Mr McLelland a cheque for R900,17 for medical bills,” he said.

He added that McLelland and his attorney had been in contact with their insurers for three weeks.

“We were definitely not aggressive in any tone in our letter sent to Mr McLelland,” he said.

Pöllabauer said McLelland’s wife, Denise, had insisted that she drive him to the hospital.

“She brought him back so that he could show us his groin graze,” he said.

“Hebron Haven Hotel is famous for its pigs,” he said. “We have guests coming from all over to be snapped with them.”

“Wilbur and the late Rosie have been here for 25 years, giving endless joy to our guests, both young and old.” He said the remaining pigs have been at the hotel for close to five years.

“We remain a family destination and look forward to having our guests enjoy fun-filled, joyous days here at Hebron,” he said. “We are also committed to attend to any disparity which may arise and value all our guests.”

Pöllabauer added that the pig was 100% South African, “and proud of that”, and definitely not Malaysian.

He added that the McLellands would be welcomed back at Hebron Haven Hotel.

McLelland said he stands by his claims and is willing to go to court to back them up.

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