Monkey killing case dropped

2011-10-20 00:00

ANIMAL activists have criticised the failure of the University of KwaZulu-Natal to proceed against students who allegedly beat a monkey to death on the campus recently.

In a statement the university said that after a thorough investigation it concluded that due to inconclusive and conflicting evidence and a lack of eyewitness statements there was insufficient casue to proceed against the students who were allegedly involved.

“However, the university will re-open the case should eyewitnesses be found who are prepared to testify at a disciplinary hearing. In the absence of such witnesses all we have to go on is hearsay and what has been reported in the press.

“We acknowledge the advice of many concerned members of the public and appropriate interventions and awareness campaigns on the appreciation and preservation of monkeys will be rolled out in the residences and on the university’s five campuses,” it stated.

Steve Smit, chairperson of the Monkey Hotline and Animal Rights Africa Organisation, accused the university of lacking sincerity in its investigation.

“There is a pending police investigation and we believe that the university will end up with egg on its face,” he said.

He said he was not surprised at the outcome as the university appeared to have sidestepped the matter, even claiming that the monkey was not “actually” killed.

“We have three eyewitnesses and will ensure that the guilty parties be brought to book,” Smit declared.

• rowan.sewchurran@witness.co.za

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