DOG ATTACK | Pietermaritzburg man dies after being attacked by two Rottweilers

John Thomson (71) was attacked by two dogs last week and died on Tuesday.
John Thomson (71) was attacked by two dogs last week and died on Tuesday.

A 71-year-old Bishopstowe man who was attacked by two Rottweilers on Wednesday last week succumbed to his injuries and died on Tuesday.

John Thomson who lived at the Kenosis property was walking down the farm road, as he usually does, when he was attacked, said his daughter Kim de Beer on Wednesday.

Piecing together what had happened from the information she obtained, she said that a man drove past and saw her father sitting on the road. The two Rottweilers were lying about five metres away.

“Dog owners need to realise that it does not mean that if their dogs are friendly with them then they will be friendly to strangers.”
Roland Fivaz, manager of the Pietermaritzburg SPCA

This man saw that he needed urgent medical attention and drove her father to Northdale Hospital.

ALSO READ | Northdale man savagely mauled by neighnour's dog

De Beer said he sustained extensive injuries to the left hand side of his body.

She said that her in-laws live on the same property as her father and when they did not see him on Thursday, they assumed he went to the clinic. It was only on Friday morning they realised he was missing and she opened a missing person’s case with police.

De Beer added that someone put up a message on a WhatsApp group which led them to eventually finding out that her father was in hospital.

She said that because of Covid-19 rules, her brother was only allowed to see their father for a few minutes on Saturday, to verify that it was him.

“He gave my brother one word answers. He was not talking a lot. He was in a lot of pain,” said de Beer.

Prior to the incident, he was in good health and had even beaten cancer, she said.

ALSO READ | Devastated father ‘holds no grudge’ after dogs kill three-year-old son

De Beer said that she is aware that the two dogs who attacked her father are problematic.

“They had attacked cattle before.”

She said the incident was avoidable.

“A lot of people are upset about what happened,” she said.

De Beer did not want to say too much about the dogs and their owners because she intends opening up charges.

She added that her father was very involved in his Church. He moved to Bishopstowe three years ago.

Prior to that, he lived in Pietermaritzburg where he worked at Natalia then the licensing department before he started doing plumbing work.

Roland Fivaz, manager of the Pietermaritzburg SPCA, said he will help the family open an inquest docket and lay charges under the Animal Matters Act.

He said that since dog attacks are taking place often, the SPCA is going to be helping the public in opening charges if they need help.

ALSO READ | Dog and Child Safety | How to prevent a dog attack

Fivaz added that he lives in the same road where the incident happened and has seen firsthand the dogs’ aggressive behaviour.

He said the owners are apparently in shock and are keeping the dogs inside the yard because he hasn’t seen them roaming outside since the incident.

“Dog owners need to realise that it does not mean that if their dogs are friendly with them then they will be friendly to strangers.”


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Daily Poll
We’re already a few days into 2021, how do you think this year will play out for you?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I think it’s going to be a good year
26% - 10 votes
I’ve already had a bad start to the year
13% - 5 votes
We’ll see as time goes, don’t want to jinx it
61% - 23 votes
Latest Issue

View the Witness in PDF

Latest Issue
Read the latest news from KZN in digital form.
Read now