On Monday, 05 February 2024, Inspectors of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, with the assistance of the South African Police Service, confiscated a German Shepherd dog from the private residence of a Law Enforcement officer in the employ of the City of Cape Town. This followed several warnings to the owner to clean the dog’s living environment, which was full of dog excrement, and to provide the dog with potable drinking water and adequate shelter.
The owner denied Inspectors of the SPCA access to the premises, which resulted in a court order being obtained from the Mitchells Plain Magistrates Court in terms of the Animal Protection Act 71 of 1962.
On previous inspections, the owner attempted to misuse his position as a Law Enforcement officer to intimidate SPCA Inspector Jeffery Mfini into giving him the details of the complainant.
“No one is above the law, regardless of your position. The SPCA will always act in the best interests of all animals and we will not be bullied into not doing our job.” said Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.
“The SPCA will under no circumstances divulge the details of any complainant unless ordered to do so by a court – and this is highly unlikely”. Legal precedents set by both the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal have always upheld the protection of whistle-blowers and have dismissed appeals for complainant information in historic NSPCA court proceedings. “Animal cruelty can be reported with confidence” says Chief Inspector Pieterse, “The SPCA will always protect those who choose to speak up for animals and the law will be on your side too”.
In this matter, the owner’s actions not only violated the Animal Protection Act 71 of 1962 but also breached the City of Cape Town Animal Keeping By-Law and Environmental Health By-Law. As a law enforcement officer, the disregard for the law is saddening. “Law Enforcement Officers have a responsibility to not only enforce the law but also to uphold it themselves and set a positive example for the community. This owner was not only in contravention of the Animal Protection Act 71 of 1962, but also the City of Cape Town Animal Keeping By Law and Environmental Health By Law – Laws he should be well versed in given his current status as a Law Enforcement Official” says Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse.
A formal complaint has been lodged with the office of Alderman JP Smith, the Mayco member of Safety and Security for the City of Cape Town and the Chief of Law Enforcement and charges of animal cruelty in terms of the Animal Protection Act will also be laid against the owner. The dog has been taken into the care of the SPCA and will remain in our care until the matter is concluded by the court.