Farmer in court for the Bonnievale pit bull attack on teen and her granny

Vuyiswa Mase was mauled by pit bulls in Bonnievale last month. Picture: Supplied

Vuyiswa Mase was mauled by pit bulls in Bonnievale last month. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 22, 2023


Cape Town - The Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation said it would keep an eye on the case of a pit bull owner who appeared in court on Wednesday.

Executive director Billy Claasen accompanied Vuyiswa Mase, 14, and grandmother Gladys Xanywa who were attacked on August 20.

The teen was with her siblings, aged 11 and 8, collecting wood when three pit bulls pounced on her. She told the other children to call for help.

Her grandmother arrived and the dogs attacked her too.

Xanywa was in hospital for five days while Vuyiswa was discharged on Monday.

A case was opened at the Bonnievale police station and the owner was charged.

Claasen said: “The well-known wine and milk farmer in the area made his first appearance in the Bonnievale Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. This comes after his pit bulls brutally attacked a female farmworker and her granddaughter last month.

“It is alleged that on Sunday, August 20, three minor children aged 14, 11 and 8 went to look for firewood. They saw the pit bulls running towards them.

“The eldest one immediately tried to draw the attention of the dogs. She fought for her life while she made way for the others to run for help. Their grandmother arrived and they fought for some time with the dogs. Some of the other farm workers came to their rescue.”

Police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi said the circumstances were still under investigation.

“A criminal case was registered on Friday, September 1 when the elderly person informed Bonnievale SAPS. Bonnievale SAPS registered an inquiry for further investigation.”

Claasen said they had to look for the docket at the police station so the court could start with the proceedings.

“Court started on time and when we accompanied the victims to the prosecutor we found out that there was no docket. We immediately went to the Bonnievale SAPS and eventually the docket arrived at court,” he said.

“The case has been postponed to October 25 for further investigation.

“It is clear that some of these police officers are playing in the hands of some farmers and this needs to stop. The arrogance of some SAPS members are unasked for and need attention. We will keep on monitoring this case as we are of the view that certain people get off the hook too lightly and easily.”

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Cape Argus