Cape Town - No effort will be spared to prosecute a woman who burnt a cat alive in Khayelitsha last month.
The incident took place a few meters from the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha and animal workers at the facility were not able to reach to cat in time to save it.
Spokesperson for the clinic, Marcelle du Plessis said a staffer tried to confront the culprit and was met with verbal abuse from both the perpetrator and community members.
“When asking her why she burnt the cat she first said that it had been sitting on her roof for two days making a noise and that she could not sleep. When we asked why she hadn’t called on us to help with the problem, she then said that it was looking at her with ‘snake eyes’ and that it was evil. She said that people in the communality are using cats to do witchcraft to destroy people’s lives.”
Du Plessis added that the woman showed no remorse and said she would be happy to be arrested and prosecuted, and she would do it again.
Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham said animals were protected under the law and they would make sure the cat gets justice.
“When people’s beliefs extend to cruelty to animals, in terms of the animal protection act we step in. We will be seeking legal alternatives and assisting with the compilation of evidence and seeking justice for this act.”
Abraham said the act was witnessed by many people in the community and the effect the incident had on children was most worrying.
“It is a horrific thing for people to have witnessed, especially when you are exposing them to such cruelty. Children learn from things like this and may believe this it is okay to treat animals this way.”
Animal Anti-Cruelty League general manager, Dr Mpho Hlalele said they received hundreds of calls weekly of people reporting cases of animal cruelty.
“All the calls are then logged for investigation and we will send out an inspector, they are the ones that are more qualified to assess the situation, and they are guided by by-laws.”
Hlalele said there are a number of reasons animals are cruel to animals, and said education on how to treat domestic animals was key.