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Suspect in animal cruelty case identified
Cat

Charges have been laid against the man who swung a cat by its tail before flinging the defenceless animal into a fire during violent protests in July.

MC Botha, former Hermanus Times editor, captured the shocking image of the masked man swinging the cat by its tail on Thursday 12 July. The incident took place in Mbeki Street near Walker Bay Recycling Depot, which was set alight during the unrest.

The image went viral and animal lovers donated more than R10 000 to be used as reward for information that would lead to the arrest and prosecution of the man caught in this heinous act.

Henriette Derby and well-known attorney Adrian Louw, who drove this initiative, were recently approached by a man who claimed to have witnessed the incident. “The person told us that the cat was still alive when the perpetrator tied the rope around its body,” he said. “It was probably strangled while being swung around by the rope.”

Louw added that the reward would be paid out only once the eyewitness had made a statement to the police and the offender had been prosecuted. Should this not happen the funds will be split between Hermanus Animal Welfare Society (HAWS), Kleinmond Animal Welfare Society (KAWS) and Rescued Animal Drive (RAD).

After investigating the case, the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) managed to establish the identity of the masked man. National Senior Inspector Vonny Strachan said police had laid charges against him in terms of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962.

“We are horrified by the actions of this man against a creature that had absolutely nothing to do with the protest,” Strachan said. “An act of such malice and brutality against an innocent and defenceless animal is disgusting. The NSPCA will pursue this case and ensure justice triumphs for this cat and all other animals caught in the collateral damage of social unrest.”

Captain Fadila September, spokesperson for Hermanus Police, confirmed that a case was opened.

“No arrests have been made yet, because eyewitnesses haven’t come forward to make a statement,” she explained, “and we cannot make an arrest without formally identifying a suspect.”

September urged people to contact police on 028 313 5300 or 028 313 70000 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111. All info will be treated as confidential.

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