No pets for court clerk

2015-11-19 09:50
A room in Danie van Rooyen’s house.

A room in Danie van Rooyen’s house. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A Pietermaritzburg court worker has agreed to no longer keep animals after the SPCA rescued five animals kept in appalling conditions at his home.

Yesterday an administration clerk at the Pietermaritzburg high court, Danie van Rooyen of Morgan Road in Bellevue, reached an agreement with the SPCA at the magistrate’s court. This was in connection with a charge related to animal neglect that he “unlawfully, intentionally and/or negligently kept animals in dirty conditions”.

This is an offence under the Animal Protection Act.

In terms of an agreement, the state agreed to withdraw the charge on condition that Van Rooyen accepted responsibility for keeping animals in unhygienic conditions at his home.

Van Rooyen also undertook not to keep any animal under his control, or to own animals for a period of seven years. He also agreed to get counselling from Nicro in respect of his “unhygienic and hoarding behaviour”, which contributed to his crime.

Senior SPCA inspector Rose Stafford, who was at court, told The Witness she welcomed the agreement. She was particularly happy that Van Rooyen has undertaken not to keep animals again in future, she said.

The Witness was told that after receiving many complaints, the SPCA was granted authority by a magistrate to enter and inspect Van Rooyen’s property in February this year.

Inspectors were confronted by a horrific scene as they found dogs and cats locked inside the stench-filled house without litter trays to use, and no access to the garden.

They confiscated five animals, a German Shepherd, a Jack Russell cross terrier, a Jack Russell puppy and two cats.

These animals, whose condition was described as pitiful, were the subject of yesterday’s court case.

Foul-smelling rooms were filled with excrement and also littered with rubbish, and even the toilet and bath were overflowing with what appeared to be sewage.

In the unkempt yard, overgrown with weeds and tall grass, the inspectors found the decaying corpse of a dog.

Photographs of the mess in the house, which were handed to the prosecuting authorities, were attached to court documents.

The Witness confirmed that the SPCA made a second court-authorised visit to Van Rooyen’s house in recent months in response to more complaints by the public.

On that occasion the SPCA removed a Dachshund, which Van Rooyen was allegedly keeping on behalf of a relative.

A court official confirmed yesterday that if Van Rooyen does not comply fully with the terms of yesterday’s agreement, the prosecution against him can be re-instituted.

Van Rooyen is the second court worker to be in hot water recently.

A former high court manager, Bhekumuzi Mtshali, paid an admission of guilt fine for stealing a car part off a vehicle parked at Liberty Mall.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pets  |  court  |  animals

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