Durban — There was blame shifting and outrage in Chesterville, Durban, after a 43-year-old man was mauled by dogs, including a pit-bull terrier, in the early hours of Sunday.
The man was on his way home from a tavern where he had been drinking with friends when the dogs allegedly attacked him.
A member of the community who did not want to be named for safety reasons, said when the deceased, Bhekani Biyela, was walking home, dogs from a nearby house that was unfenced started barking and chased him.
“When he got to a house with a pit bull in the yard, which is fenced, the dogs jumped the fence.
“At the time of the attack Biyela called to his friend to come and help him. When the friend got there the dogs scattered,” he said.
The community member. said he was called by the neighbours to witness what had happened. A member of the community told him when he got to the scene ‘the man was badly bruised and he had to cut his clothes’.
“I rushed him to King Edward Hospital and when I got there security guards assisted me. I had to wait for a while, then the doctors called me.
“They tried to explain that they tried everything they could. I just knew that he was gone,” said the source.
When the source spoke to the Daily News, he said the family went to the scene to collect Biyela’s body tissues.
He said the owner of the pit bull had five or six dogs, and that the dogs were neglected as the owner did not live there.
“The owner had become arrogant and defended his dogs, saying they would never attack anyone. The owner does not live there with his dogs and the person who takes care of them comes in only every once in a while.”
Thembelani Dlamini, who is the owner of the pit bull and the other dogs, said it was impossible for his pit bull to attack anyone.
“It is a big dog and it could not possibly have escaped through a hole in the fence, which the other dogs use whenever they escape.
“The pit bull is a mixture of another breed and it gave birth to four puppies on Thursday. “We have actually isolated it from the other dogs, so there was no way that it could have joined the other dogs and attacked our neighbour,” said Dlamini.
He added that he was close to the Biyela family and that they were good friends.
“I am saddened by what has happened and by what I am hearing from the community that Biyela was attacked by dogs coming from the house that is not fenced,” he said.
Dlamini said he does not believe that his other dogs would have attacked a human, as they were only 10 months old.
There have been calls for a ban on pit bulls in the country, following fatal attacks.
Some owners argue that the ban is uncalled for and that not all dogs are savage. They hold the belief that a dog’s behaviour is a reflection of its owner.
KZN police spokesperson Constable Thenjiswa Ngcobo said the Cato Manor police have opened an inquest docket regarding the accident.