AfriForum says an arrest warrant has been reserved for Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, after she reportedly failed to appear in the Potchefstroom Regional Court on charges of animal cruelty on Tuesday.
This reportedly follows the announcement by AfriForum’s private prosecution unit in 2019 that it would privately prosecute Modise on behalf of the National Council of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA).
According to reports, the magistrate in the case reserved a warrant for her arrest on Tuesday, pending her appearance in court on 31 March.
AfriForum accused Modise of leaving her farm in the North West unattended, causing the death of more than 50 pigs and other animals in 2014.
In October 2019, the head of AfriForum’s private prosecuting unit advocate Gerrie Nel, informed the court sitting before Magistrate Ben Mtebele that the matter was ready to go to trial. He said pre-trial issues had been resolved and the unit would hand over a case docket to the defence.
During October 2019, Nel said provisional trial dates had been set for 24 to 26 March.
According to AfriForum, Modise’s legal representative argued that President Cyril Ramaphosa asked her to help during the Covid-19 pandemic.
AfriForum said the magistrate wanted reasons why Modise could not delegate her duties.
News24 reported that Modise said she had deliberately kept quiet about the animal cruelty case against her in 2019.
Modise said she had been closely watching all the role players in the case and believed the delays in the matter were deliberate in order to weaken her chances of winning the matter.