TWO more children have been attacked by a dog in Philippi, prompting renewed calls for the city’s hundreds of thousands of strays to be destroyed.
The two four-year-olds were attacked minutes apart by a dog in Sweet Home Farm informal settlement, while residents were attending a community meeting on the dog problem. One of the children had to be taken to the Hanover Park Day Hospital trauma unit.
The attacks came barely two weeks after three-year-old Philasande Mbokolo was dragged from his home and killed by dogs.
Angry residents responded by killing several dogs.
On Sunday night, residents were at a community meeting to discuss the stray dog menace when the two children, Ivile Ntlanwini and Sivikele Rhorhwana, walked off alone together.
Ivile’s mother, Phumza, was called by neighbours to tend to her son who had been bitten in the face.
“I came and saw blood on his face and asked a man in the road to take us to the doctor,” she said. A community member had seen the dog attack the two children.
“Ivile told me he was playing with his friend in front of our house where the dog’s puppies were, but he said he didn’t see the big dog coming,” she said.
Ivile, who is at home recovering, was treated at the trauma unit. Sivikele Rhorhwana, the four-year-old girl who was also attacked, had minor scratches on her nose.
Yesterday when the Cape Times visited the community, young children and adults were gathered in the streets of Section A, chanting “Hamba izinja” (the dogs must go) and waving posters which read: “We will kill these dogs if they hurt our children.”
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith has said there were “at least” 230 000 stray dogs in the city, and it would cost the city about R27 million to have them put down and the carcasses destroyed.
Philippi community leader Forest Ndathane said he had called the general meeting on Sunday to urge residents to hand their dogs to the SPCA.
“And if they didn’t want to, they could register them with the SPCA,” he said.
The SPCA has been removing stray dogs, following reports that residents had started killing them by taking them to the railway line. About
13 dogs were collected yesterday, including the one believed to have attacked the children.
“We went around the community and asked people if they wanted to hand over their dogs to us. We are also going around collecting stray dogs off the road,” said Moyo Ndukwana, SPCA inspector.
He said the dogs which were captured yesterday would be put down at the request of the owners, and the others would be sterilised.
The SPCA would go back tomorrow with their mobile clinic so community members could have their dogs sterilised, treated and registered in the owner’s name.
One resident, Sakhiwo Mnyama, said he refused to give his dog away.
Mnyama lives a few houses behind Ntlangwini.
“I want to register my dogs so that I can keep them with me because they are like my family now, and they protect us,” Mnyama said.
Mnyama said he planned to put secure fencing around his property to keep the dogs in.