AfriForum's motives for prosecuting Modise 'curious': Parliament

19 July 2018 - 16:44 By Nico Gous
Thandi Modise accuses AfriForum of abusing judicial processes for narrow political ends.
Thandi Modise accuses AfriForum of abusing judicial processes for narrow political ends.
Image: Trevor Samson/Business Day

National Council of Provinces (NCOP) chairperson Thandi Modise believes the timing and motives behind AfriForum’s decision to privately prosecute her for alleged animal cruelty are “curious”.

“She regards the motives of this grouping curious as they smack of abuse of judicial processes for narrow political ends‚” Parliament said in a statement.

“The threat to privately prosecute coincides with the process led by Parliament regarding 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.”

The National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces instructed the Parliamentary Joint Constitutional Review Committee to determine if reviewing Section 25 and other clauses is necessary to enable government to expropriate land in the “public interest without compensation”.

AfriForum has been vocal in its opposition and has considered legal action over the issue.

The Sunday Times reported in 2014 how SPCA inspectors had raided Modise’s farm in the town of Modderfontein‚ North West‚ and found scores of dead animals‚ including decomposing pigs‚ chickens‚ geese and sheep.

Modise said at the time that her farm manager had left to tend to a family emergency. But the newspaper revealed that the sole farmworker who took care of the farm had left the animals to die because he and his family faced starvation if they stayed there. 

Modise said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) abandoned the case‚ because there was no prospect of successfully prosecuting her.

“This is because she had delegated people she trusted to look after the farm while she is away fulfilling her Parliamentary responsibilities‚” Parliament said. “Upon learning of the matter‚ she swiftly intervened and placed appropriate measures to address the situation and cooperated fully in the investigative process.”

Advocate Gerrie Nel plans to embark on the prosecution within the next three months after concluding there was prima facie evidence to successfully prosecute Modise.


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