Ex-lover held for allegedly trying to torch home, stabbing family dog
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Cape Town – When a Manenberg woman left her alleged abusive partner, he retaliated by attempting to set her home on fire and stabbed their family dog in the neck.
Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham said the organisation responded to the call for help on Friday.
“Recently, a woman left her abusive partner only to have him return this past Thursday and set her home on fire in retaliation. When she returned from the police station after reporting the incident, this violent man was waiting for her.
"He demanded that she hand over the family dog and when she refused to do so, he restrained the dog and stabbed him viciously.”
Abraham said SPCA inspector Jeffrey Mfini found the dog, named Sametime, lying on a blanket and bleeding profusely from a deep wound to his neck.
“Time was of the essence and so Inspector Mfini rushed Sametime to the closest private veterinary practice for treatment.
“Sametime is still in a critical condition but he will soon be brought to the SPCA to complete his recovery here, under the watchful eye of our own veterinary team.”
After assisting the dog, Mfini then lodged a complaint against the man in terms of the Animals Protection Act.
“The 44-year-old suspect was arrested with the assistance of Captain Moloi and Sergeant Mzola of the Manenberg SAPS.
“He is currently in custody and will soon be transferred to Athlone SAPS as the incident occurred within that jurisdiction.
“We are grateful to the members of SAPS who assisted us with this arrest and thank them for recognising the suffering of an animal.”
Abraham said incidents like this were not uncommon.
“Often an intimate partner will use animal maltreatment as a coercive tactic when their partner has a valued bond with an animal, or an emotional attachment that can be exploited.
“It is for this reason that intimate partner and gender-based violence
present very real threats to any animals within the household, too.
“Animal cruelty is just as much a criminal offence as domestic violence and if you should find yourself in a position where you fear for your safety and that of your companion animals, please let us know.
“We will assist you with the removal of your pet for safekeeping, the compilation of a criminal docket, formulation of charges and the representation of any pet injured by your intimate partner in a court of law,” she said.
While police did not respond by deadline, Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children director Bernadine Bachar said reporting incidents or walking away from violence was a huge step for survivors.
“Leaving the perpetrator is a process for a survivor. Survivors may find it difficult to leave a perpetrator when she is financially dependent on him and has no other access to financial resources or if she shares children with the perpetrator and is reluctant to expose the
children to further trauma.
“Often the abuse itself has shattered the survivor’s sense of self-worth, resulting in her believing that she has no alternative and cannot leave.”
Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali said that the case showed the extent to which a perpetrator of gender-based violence (GBV) would go to inflict harm on families.
“Men’s violence against women and children is problematic in our society and affects the overall well-being of families, and the prolonged effects of violence has a long-lasting psychological and emotional effect on children, and will most likely result in increased levels of stress and anxiety.”
Men needed to play a greater role in society and speak out against GBV, said Monakali.
“Toxic male behaviour is the root cause of men’s violence that is perpetrated on women and children.
“This also highlights the greater need for more effective protection measures because most often perpetrators breach court orders that bar them from being in the same premises as victim, and this often leads to perpetrators inflicting further harm on victims.”