South Africa: NSPCA Furious That SANDF Horse Abuse Case Has Stalled

The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) is outraged that cases of animal cruelty against the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) have not moved forward in a speedy manner.

In May 2018, the NSPCA laid criminal charges over the state of the horses at the South African Army Special Infantry Capability (SAASIC) Unit in Potchefstroom.

A second case was laid in January 2019 over alleged "deliberate" brutality towards the horses.

NSPCA Special Investigations Unit manager Wendy Willson said, having failed to get hold of the two investigating detectives, a senior inspector had travelled to Potchefstroom to follow up in person, "only to realise that both the dockets were missing".

Willson also claimed that the NSPCA was given incorrect information relating to the dockets in the case.

"Misinformation relating to these dockets was given by the SAPS, stating that both dockets had been delivered to court, and it was later established that this was not the case."

However, North West police said that two animal cruelty cases were under investigation.

"I can hereby confirm that both cases are under investigation. The dockets were submitted to the National Prosecution Authority for further instructions," North West police head of media relations Colonel Adéle Myburgh told News24.

Willson poured scorn on the so-called progress of the investigation.

"Both cases that have received a lot of publicity, and outraged the country, have made it clear that SAASIC has a complete disregard for the country's legal system and no remorse for the cruelty that took place at their Potchefstroom base, and the detectives involved could not be less interested," Willson charged.

However, Myburgh countered that legal processes were being followed.

"The South African Police Service is committed to ensure successful prosecution and therefore work in partnership with the Department of Justice.

"The details of the investigation process is sub judice and all information must still be presented to a court of law."

The SANDF announced in 2018 that it had set up an inquiry into the treatment of horses at its SAASIC unit, with a view to establishing who should be held accountable.

SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini told News24 in 2018 that the military would subject itself to the law.

"As a law-abiding organisation, the SANDF will always cooperate with any form of investigation to allow the law to take its course."

Source: News24

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