Ashburton man in court for keeping vicious dog

2010-03-25 00:00

ASHBURTON resident Godfrey Pietersen, whose son Keegan has been charged with keeping a ferocious pitbull terrier in the wake of an attack on Janice Whitelaw last month, appeared in court yesterday in connection with a similar incident in June 2009.

Pietersen was not asked to plead to charges of keeping a ferocious dog; alternatively, of failing to confine the dog on his premises when it was not securely leashed or under someone’s control.

The case was postponed to April 22.

The Witness has learned that the charge arises from an incident in which a dog allegedly attacked and bit security guard Mbongeni Ntsindane, who was reportedly on duty at the neighbouring property of then Msunduzi mayor Zanele Hlatswayo on June 5 last year.

Ntsindane was allegedly patrolling the area at night when he was attacked by a black-and-white dog that bit him in the leg and pulled him to the ground.

Two other dogs allegedly joined in, and Ntsindane managed to draw his firearm and fired a shot into the air to scare the dogs.

When that failed to deter the dogs he allegedly fired twice in the direction of the dog that had hold of his leg. The third shot allegedly wounded the animal in the shoulder, causing it to let go.

Ntsindane was taken to Northdale hospital for treatment by a taxi driver employed by Pietersen.

The Witness was not able to establish the fate of the dog.

Whitelaw, who lives in the same street as the Pietersen family, was out jogging last month when she was attacked by a white 18-month-old pitbull terrier named Velo, as well as a smaller dog. She suffered serious injuries to her arm and face.

Velo, said to belong to Keegan Pietersen, was recently put down by the SPCA after allegedly attacking another woman.

The dog initially could not be traced after the Pietersens decided to give it away rather than have it put down.

It was finally brought to the SPCA by Pietersen’s father, who allegedly requested the dog be destroyed after it had bitten another person.

Mandla Sithole, who is in charge of the Msunduzi licensing department, told The Witness at the time that his office had received a complaint from a woman in connection with the incident, but could not provide any more details.

• Keegan Pietersen is due to appear in the magistrate’s court on Monday in connection with his dogs’ attack on Whitelaw.

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