Rabid dog: murder charge won’t stick

2012-09-04 00:00

A MURDER charge against the owner of the rabid dog that bit Siyabonga Majola and led to his death would not stand up in court, said a Durban-based attorney yesterday.

Reports in the media yesterday stated that Nikiwe Majola, the mother of the deceased, had said she wanted the owner of the dog to be punished by the law.

Durban attorney Saber Jazbhay told The Witness yesterday that if it could be proved that the owner was negligent, he could be charged with negligence.

“If he knew that the dog was rabid and failed to act, then he could face a charge of culpable homicide,” Jazbhay said.

“If you have a dangerous animal, you must make sure that you put up high fences and warning signs.

“However, if you are aware that your dog is rabid, you have to make sure it is put down, or you will be held liable,” he said.

“A murder charge won’t stand.”

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Ramkissoon the the police would have to investigate and prove that there were grounds to charge the owner with murder, in other words that “the owner tied him up and let the dog bite him”, said Ramkissoon.

She said she had not heard anything about any charges being laid.

Siyabonga died last week at Durban’s RK Khan Hospital after he was bitten by the dog.

Environmental Affairs MEC Meshack Radebe said lawyers were working on drafting a law that would make the owners of rabid animals responsible for killing someone facing a murder charge.

— Witness Reporter.

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