Dead man eaten by pack of hunting dogs, sangoma arrested

2010-02-08 00:00

A PACK of emaciated and diseased hunting dogs are in the care of the SPCA after feeding on a man’s flesh in the Hopewell area at the weekend.

Their owner, who is reportedly a sangoma, is in police custody and is expected to appear in court today to face an allegation of murder.

The dead man, who has been identified as Thabo Ramohola, was disfigured beyond recognition after the dogs had eaten away at his face, leaving just a skull. Dog bites covered his entire body.

The Witness has photographs of the mauled man, but they were too gruesome to publish.

The sangoma allegedly told police that he was awoken by his dogs barking on Friday evening. When he went to investigate, he found a man encircled by his dogs.

When he asked the alleged intruder who he was and what he had been doing on his property, he failed to answer, the sangoma reportedly said.

He told investigators that an altercation followed, and he admitted stabbing the man before the dogs began to devour the alleged intruder.

The body was found two houses down from the sangoma’s house.

The Witness understands that the dog owner is a notorious and feared sangoma in the area.

A black cross is engraved on his door. A dead snake was found hanging outside his house while animal intestines were found hanging high up on a pole in his yard.

Mark Enslin, an honorary officer with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, said the SPCA called him in on Saturday morning to assist in culling the dogs, which he described as emaciated and diseased.

He was also called in because of the many suspicious items found on the property.

“The dogs varied from cross-breeds to the general hunting greyhound crosses.

“I can’t say how many they were, but it was a hell of a lot of dogs.

“Some were three-legged and there were puppies as well. But they were just infested with ticks and disease.”

Enslin said one of the dogs is a beagle cross, which he said is a very expensive and popular hunting dog in England.

“When I entered the house, everything was in shambles. It was so bad that ticks were sticking all over my legs,” he claims.

Here Enslin found horns of nyala, reedbuck and duiker, as well as skins of endangered animals such as genet cats, aardwolf and various other animals not yet identified.

The Witness has learnt that the sangoma is so feared in the area that not even police will go into his house.

“I must say that the police, the dog unit and the SPCA all handled what could have been a difficult situation well.

“They didn’t have to use aggression at all. They were very professional in handling the subject’s arrest …” said Enslin.

SPCA spokesperson Maureen Vida, said the dog owner was unco-operative and it was with great difficulty that 17 parasite-infested greyhound-type dogs were caught and taken to the SPCA where they will “await their fate based on the outcome of the case”.

Police are investigating the matter.

They said an autopsy will determine whether the man was dead before the dogs got to him.

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