Vet investigating Thandi Modise farm case ‘gets threats’

2014-08-01 16:30

The DA has expressed concern about alleged interference in the investigation of cruelty to animals at National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise’s farm.

The Veterinary Defence Association confirmed that one of the surgeons investigating the case had been threatened, DA North West leader Chris Hattingh said today.

“The DA, apart from being concerned about the pressure excreted [sic] upon Dr [Sameer] Abbas, will add the latest revelations to our charge ... registered at the Buffelshoek SAPS, as evidence of attempts to defeat the ends of justice accumulates,” said Hattingh.

Last month, police and inspectors from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) found starving and dead animals on Modise’s farm Modderfontein, near Potchefstroom in North West.

About 85 pigs had begun cannibalising 58 dead pigs, and were reportedly drinking their own urine. Sheep, geese, goats and ducks were also among the more than 100 dead animals. Many had to be put down.

It appeared the animals had been without water and food for a week, possibly two. There were no farm workers on the property, which had no electricity, and the water pumps were broken.

The Mail & Guardian and Beeld newspapers reported that the vet who performed the post mortems on several pigs’ carcasses refused to have anything more to do with the case.

Dr Abbas, a veterinary surgeon practising in Potchefstroom, also refused to hand over his report to the NSPCA.

The society has laid charges against Modise and people living on the farm.

Hattingh said Modise had promised to co-operate with the investigation.

“We have seen nothing of this co-operation yet. Instead reports of attempts to prevent NSPCA officials from doing their work emerged,” he said.

On Tuesday, Modise’s farm manager Neo Moepi denied threatening two NSPCA inspectors with violence, claiming he had saved them from harm at the hands of farm workers.

Earlier that day, Moepi and a farm manager allegedly threatened to kick the inspectors’ car and set it alight, and grabbed a mobile phone and erased recordings.

The altercation allegedly happened last Friday, when the inspectors visited Modise’s farm to evaluate the animals.

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