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Durban - Despite lives that were put in danger by a rampaging pit bull in Malvern on Monday, two policemen watched the commotion from the safety of their van, an annoyed resident said.
The man eventually killed the dog by shooting it in the head – after several other shots failed to stop it.
The animal caused mayhem on Stella Road on Monday morning, charging at everyone who crossed its path and causing terrified schoolchildren to bolt for safety after alighting from a taxi.
Several people were attacked by the pit bull, including a domestic worker who was mauled as she got out of a taxi.
Her employer, the Reverend Brian Naidoo, said on Tuesday night he had spoken to his employee on Monday night as she was waiting to go into theatre at RK Khan Hospital in Chatsworth.
The woman had told him she was bitten on her hands and legs.
“People who keep pit bulls should know how dangerous they can get. They should always keep them indoors,” Naidoo said.
“Those dogs are as good as robbers and rogues as [their actions] cannot be predicted.”
A local resident, who asked not to be named, said he shot the dog after his appeals to the policemen for help went unheeded.
He said he knew something was amiss when he noticed a man with a gun outside the gate of his house at about 7am.
“I asked him what was going on and then I saw this dog on the road and people from the taxi running. It was a commotion,” he said.
“The dog ran past my gate and I thought it was safe and opened it as I was taking my son to school.
“But before I knew it, the dog was in my yard charging at my son.”
Horrified, the man said he told his son to run back to the house and he had fortunately reacted almost immediately. But the pit bull did not give up and turned towards him.
“I was saved by my dog [a pregnant boxer] as it had come to my defence, but this dog was much stronger and I knew that if I did nothing, my dog would be ripped to pieces,” he said.
“There were SAPS police in their vehicle during this commotion and not once did they get out of their vehicle to help us with this dog
He said that before he decided to draw his own firearm in a bid to save his boxer, he called out to the policemen to shoot the pit bull, but they would not move from their vehicle.
“I fired a shot at it [the pit bull], but it just continued to attack my dog,” he said.
“I then fired a number of shots, but it still continued. It was only when I shot it in the head that it finally let go.”
The man said his family, especially his six-year-old son, were “traumatised” by the attack.
“A number of people from that taxi were apparently attacked by this dog.
“It… could have killed someone and the police were there, but did nothing and I had to shoot it,” he said.
“When I asked them why, they said it was [the] metro police’s responsibility. I could not believe it.”
Provincial police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane insisted that the two policemen were not under any duty to act.
“Any matter relating to dogs is part of municipal by-laws, and can either be handled by metro police or the SPCA if any investigation is required,” he said.
Zwane said the SAPS would not be contacting the owner of the pit bull because it was “not a police matter”.
He said he did not know how many people had been attacked because no cases had been opened. The dead pit bull was collected by men who had been sent by the owner.
The resident who shot the dog said he approached the pit bull owner, a local businessman.
“I asked him if his dog had been vaccinated for rabies and he said yes,” he said.
The pit bull owner could not be contacted on Tuesday.