ANC defends Thandi Modise

By Drum Digital
08 July 2014

The ANC in Parliament defended National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise, saying the outcry over her farm has been politicised.

The North West farm has been in the news following revelations by the Sunday Times that scores of animals had died in Modise’s farm because of neglect. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) also found starving pigs that had started eating other pigs because of hunger.

Modise has blamed her farm manager who had apparently absconded.

ANC chief whip Stone Sizani defended Modise in a statement issued by his office this afternoon, saying opposition parties were using the NCOP chairperson’s farm disaster to “to attack the ANC and discredit its policies on land reform”.

The DA yesterday threatened to lay criminal charges against her for cruelty to animals, and said Modise should be held liable for what happened.

The Freedom Front Plus said she had set a bad example for emerging black farmers, and called on her to be prosecuted.

Freedom Front Plus spokesperson Pieter Groenewald said Land Reform minister Gugile Nkwinti should take note of Modise’s form before going ahead with his land reform plans.

However, Sizani said the party was satisfied with the measures Modise was taking to address the situation.

“The interventions include urgently appointing additional people to beef up staff at the farm and working with the SPCA to swiftly address the environmental concerns affecting the livestock.

“We are appalled by attempts by formations such as the DA to opportunistically use this incident to discredit the land reform programme and to project black farming as inherently a failure. This view not only seeks to undermine the important and urgent national programme of correcting the gross injustices of 1913 but also smacks of racist undertones,” he said.

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