Chantelle Uys of Mountain View in Pretoria stated in papers before the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, that David van der Merwe of Claremont should have locked the dog up, as he knew the animal was dangerous.
The dog bit the child, Wian Uys, on the arm and hand. Although the incident occurred six years ago, the child still bears an unsightly scar on his arm. Experts said he would have to undergo reconstructive surgery to repair the scar.
Wian and his father had been visiting his uncle on November 16, 2012, at the house he had recently moved into. The uncle rented the home from Van der Merwe, who lived in another house on the premises.
The dog was, according to Van der Merwe, safely locked away in the swimming pool area of the yard, so it was safe for the father and child to enter.
Wian was apparently playing with his cousins in the backyard when the dog attacked him.
Uys said Van der Merwe knew that his dog was at times vicious, and likely to bite strangers who were visiting the premises.
But Van der Merwe blamed the child for the dog’s conduct. He said Wian and the other children provoked the dog by hitting and scaring it. According to him they simply annoyed the dog.
He said he had secured the dog in the swimming pool area and the children knew they were not allowed to play there.
Van der Merwe said he had rented out the main house in terms of a lease agreement and the child’s parents should have kept an eye on him.
According to Van der Merwe, they knew that he kept a fierce dog in the backyard, which was likely to injure anyone who entered the area.
After the attack, Wian’s father stopped the bleeding with toilet paper and rushed his son to hospital.
The dog was subsequently killed by its owner and the Uys family requested that his brain be sent to Onderstepoort Veterinary Centre, to be analysed for possible rabies infection.
Wian also received psychotherapy.
Meanwhile, the matter was indefinitely postponed as a man who worked as Van der Merwe’s gardener at the time failed to arrive at court to testify on his behalf.
It is said that this man was, apart from the children, the only witness to the attack.