SPCA ex-employee suspect in fire

nd firespca A building at the Kloof and Highway SPCA burns last night, destroying goods donated to the animal shelter. The police are investigating arson.

A disgruntled SPCA ex-employee is being investigated for the fire which gutted the society’s Kloof and Highway building on Wednesday night.

This is according to private investigator, Brad Nathanson, who believes that the man – in police custody when the fire broke out – might have had somebody else do the dirty work for him.

“When the fire broke out he (the SPCA employee) had already been arrested by the Mpumalanga (Hammarsdale) police on (an unrelated) charge...

“But I can almost bet my career that he was involved,” Nathanson said.

He said the fire department had confirmed it was a case of arson.

Nathanson described the man as being very influential among his colleagues at the SPCA.

The man is already a suspect in a case of intimidation and possession of illegal ammunition.

This probe stems from threats received last week by SPCA spokeswoman, Barbara Patrick.

Last week Patrick received a threatening note, left by an intruder at the SPCA who released the cats from their cages.

A 9mm bullet was left on top of the note.

Nathanson said he planned to have the man charged on this later on Thursday.

Patrick said on Thursday morning that she did not know where the threats came from or who was behind them.

“It could be anybody who knows me. My life could be in danger I don’t want to speculate,” she said.

Patrick was not able to quantify Wednesday night’s fire damage yet, saying “we are still waiting for the insurance to come here”.

She said the most devastating damage was to donated goods, which included books and computer equipment. No animals were harmed in the fire.

The Daily News understands that the former SPCA employee was arrested on Wednesday morning after being sought for more than a week in connection with a separate case.

Police spokesman, Colonel Vincent Mdunge, said police were investigating a case of arson, but said no arrests had been made.


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