AfriForum confident of animal cruelty case against Modise

In 2014, inspectors found dozens of animals at Thandi Modise's farm had starved to death while others were living in horrendous conditions which led to over 160 of them being put down.

FILE: Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Thandi Modise. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA - AfriForum’s lead investigator in the case against National Council of Provinces chair Thandi Modise has rejected the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) claim that there's insufficient evidence to prosecute her on charges of animal cruelty.

The lobby group's Private Prosecution Unit and the SPCA announced on Thursday that they plan to pursue the case against the senior politician.

In 2014, inspectors found dozens of animals had starved to death while others were living in horrendous conditions which led to more than 160 of them having to be put down.

AfriForum Private Prosecution Unit lead investigator Elias Maangwale says his investigation has strengthened the case against Modise.

“We have seen a lot of witness around Johannesburg and the North West and the case is strong.”

The SPCA’s Marcelle Meredith says the NPA told them last year that they decided not to prosecute Modise.

“Many of our cases, although investigated, get declined. The Thandi Modise case was one such case and we’re very pleased that Gerrie Nel and the AfriForum have come forward.”

‘AFRIFORUM SERVING NARROW POLITICAL ENDS’

Modise believes AfriForum’s decision to privately prosecute her is linked to the proposal to change the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation.

She believes AfriForum’s decision is an abuse of the judicial process for narrow political ends.

“The threat to privately prosecute coincides with the process led by Parliament regarding the possible amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution to expropriate land without compensation. At the heart of the action is exploiting the incident to advance a narrow narrative of failure of black farming.”

In terms of the law, the SPCA is permitted to initiate a prosecution and does not require a certificate from the NPA.

Parliament approved the process into land expropriation in February this year; AfriForum has confirmed it held its first meetings with the SPCA in November last year.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)