Protecting rights of monkey over mankind questionable

2015-11-11 06:00

I WAS skipping through the latest Maritzburg Fever when my eyes fell mid-article on a paragraph beginning with the sentences: “What if someone shoots them in the eye?

“Wouldn’t it be better with paintball guns?”

At first I thought that the quote was referring to the shooting of vervet monkeys, a controversial subject at the best of times.

After reading on a bit I realised incredulously, that the issue at stake was the use of pellet guns not against monkeys but rather, at impoverished human beings at the municipal landfill site.

Apparently these people are a nuisance at the dump and security guards equipped with binoculars, radios and “pellet rifles” will be employed to combat them.

At first one would think that the sentiments reflected would be more apt in PW’s day, but interestingly it was “nowadays” between a DA councillor and local ruling party leader Mayor Chris Ndlela.

Apparently the discussion arose at the latest Exco meeting when DA councillor Judith Lawrence was against the use of pellet guns to control the tip-pickers and therefore suggested the use of paintball guns instead.

She went on to say: “These people we are firing at are people who have got the least in life and we are going to make life even more difficult for them ... paintball is enough to frighten them ...”

Ndlela is reported to have answered: “What do you suggest should be done if people break the law? Let’s note that, but unfortunately, we have to agree it is on rare occasions that these pellet rifles are used. If it happens that it’s the eye that becomes a target we will have to live with the consequences thereof.”

My goodness - is this for real?

According to a well-known local scientist, shooting a vervet monkey with a pellet gun is totally “illegal”.

Given the comments discussed at the Exco meeting, it would seem that the monkey has a higher legal status than a human “breaking the law” trying to survive at a municipal landfill site.

Presumably monkeys are protected at the site. Perhaps the landfill law should be revised.

I can’t help wondering whether the poor destitute individual shot at with a pellet or paintball gun at the dump site would have voted DA or ANC, or are they perhaps EFF?

More likely though, is that they are in fact “illegal aliens”, and likewise have little or no say in the vote of a political­ policy which protects the rights of a vervet monkey over their own.

Erich Dedekind

Via email

What do you suggest should be done if people break the law? Let’s note that, but unfortunately, we have to agree it is on rare occasions that these pellet rifles are used. If it happens that it’s the eye that becomes a target we will have to live with the consequences thereof

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