Two men are each going to prison for two years for organised dog fighting in Atteridgeville, Pretoria.
National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) senior inspector Wendy Willson said Tebogo Maselwane, Thato Manzini and seven others were arrested on June 22 “with the blood of their dogs still fresh on their hands”.
Willson said their pit bull terriers died for the “sick satisfaction of others”. The NSPCA and police rescued 14 dogs during the raid.
Maselwane and Manzini pleaded guilty and magistrate Pierre Lourens on Thursday sentenced them to prison without suspension or the option of a fine. They were also declared unfit to own firearms or care for any animals for five years.
Lourens said: “It is necessary that this evil be addressed, because this is evil.”
Willson said Lourens spoke about how organised dog fighting “encourages and condones a level of cruelty that is abhorrent and detestable in the mind of any reasonable or civilised person, and that we have reached a level of civilisation… where a clear message has to be sent out to the people who want to commit these heinous and barbaric acts, that they will be punished and not just acknowledged”.
The case against the other seven accused continues on November 13.
In the past five years, the crime of dog fighting has risen from being an obscure offence to a national crime. We look into the seedy world of dog fighting, to find out why and how this blood sport is taking place in the country.