NSPCA inspectors call in police back-up to inspect Modise’s farm

2014-07-30 00:00

POTCHEFSTROOM — Inspectors of the NSPCA yesterday needed a warrant and police back-up to inspect cattle on Thandi Modise’s farm.

The police are investigating several charges against the former North West premier and current chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), after pigs on her farm reportedly began eating each other from hunger earlier this month. The NSPCA had to euthanase 117 of the animals, and confiscate 120.

The National Council for SPCAs yesterday requested a warrant from the Potchefstroom Magistrate’s Court after their officers were on Friday reportedly threatened by Neo Moepi, Modise’s farm manager, and several farm workers.

The officers say proof was deleted from their phones and their vehicles’ keys were taken from them when they inspected the farm on Friday.

Head of the NSPCA farm animal unit, Andries Venter, said he requested police officers to accompany him to Modise’s farm yesterday, where there are still 20 head of cattle. Venter said Moepi only opened the locked gate after having discussions with the police and insulting the NSPCA officers. They spent three hours at the farm, and Venter reported the 18 head of cattle they inspected were in acceptable condition.

Moepi said yesterday that during an altercation on Friday two NSPCA officers had told him in Afrikaans “A k***r cannot control a farm”. Inspector Grace de Lange and Burt Coetzee denied this. “I was the only one there who speaks Afrikaans,” said Coetzee.

“We did not say one word in Afrikaans during the argument. I am not sure if [Moepi] may be confusing us with someone else.” Moepi also denied he deleted photos from the cellphone.

But Coetzee said the NSPCA had a cellphone photo showing a worker tampering with Coetzee’s cellphone.

NSPCA executive director Marcelle Meredith confirmed the society is pursuing cruelty charges over the treatment of animals on the farm.

Meredith said Moepi was “playing the race card” and charges would be laid concerning alleged threats of violence against the inspectors.

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