'My dagga dealer's dogs mauled me'

By Candice Bailey Time of article published May 4, 2004

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A Hout Bay man who went to buy dagga at a local dealer had to have his right arm amputated after he was allegedly mauled by two dogs.

Ebrahim Cassiem's right arm had to be amputated below his elbow, he lost the use of his left arm and needed five stitches in his face following the attack.

Next week Cassiem is due to get a prosthesis.

Cassiem says the attack happened in the storm water channel behind the dagga dealer's house.

He said the channel was separated from the house by a single fence.

The 52-year-old resident of Rode Vos Road in Hout Bay, said he could no longer do anything for himself.

Sitting in his home on Monday evening, he told the Cape Argus about his ordeal.

He said one of the dogs, an American Pitbull Terrier, was waiting for him when he made his way back down the channel after buying the dagga.

"I did not see the dog, and before I could do anything it just came towards me and went for my arm. I tried to yank my arm away from it but it seemed that its jaws were locked onto my arm.

"I even tried to bring the dog towards me so that I could pick him up and throw him down to get him away from me, but it would not let go," he said.

"Then the other dog, an Alsatian, got out of the yard, and attacked me from behind."

Cassiem said he had called out and whistled for the dog's owner, but nobody had come to his rescue.

He said the pitbull had then also attacked his left arm and attempted to bite his throat.

"I managed to get its head between my legs and I choked it. I kicked it in the stomach, and it finally left me."

Cassiem said he then ran to a friend's house, and the friend had gone to the alleged dealer's house and asked him to take him to hospital.

On their way to the hospital the "dealer" allegedly told Cassiem he had forgotten to tie the dogs up.

They went to Victoria Hospital in Wynberg, where his injuries were found to be so serious that he was referred to Groote Schuur Hospital.

Two days later Cassiem's arm was amputated.

"If I did not handle myself properly when I was attacked, I am sure I would have been dead today," he said.

"Now I feel totally helpless. I can't tie my shoes and I can't wash myself. My wife has to do everything for me."

Cassiem said he knows it was an accident, but he cannot forgive the man he claims was careless with his dogs.

"I am the one that lost out. I can't do a thing for myself," he said.

Although Cassiem did not want to, his injuries were so serious that doctors advised him to lay a charge with the Hout Bay police.

Cassiem said the police were still waiting for a court date.

Hout Bay police would not comment on Tuesday evening.

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