Roadside slaughtering shocks

Cindy Liebenberg
VARIOUS charges of contravening the health and safety bylaws of the Kouga are currently being investigated by the authorities following a complaint by the SPCA chief inspector, Coenraad Smit.
He laid the charge last Wednesday after a large group of men were seen slaughtering a cow in broad daylight, and in full view of motorists travelling along the main road between Humansdorp and St Francis Bay.
Shocked bystander John Wiehahn said he saw the men walking alongside a roped cow. On reaching the open ground in front of the SPCA, the men brought the struggling beast to the ground and proceeded to slaughter it.
Wiehahn said when Smit apparently tried to intervene, he was initially ignored and then threatened.
Smit then called the police.
“A stock-theft unit in the vicinity responded to the call. However, the unit determined that the slaughtered beast was not stolen and they left,” said Wiehahn who was informed that attending to offences involving the contravention of municipal and health department regulations and by-laws was not the responsibility of the SAPS stock-theft unit.
“I had been manning the nearby SPCA thrift shop, and responded when Coenraad called for assistance after the stock-theft unit had departed. The men had by then slaughtered the animal and were carving up the meat. The spectacle attracted a number of township dogs, relishing the puddles of spilt blood and tasty bits thrown their way,” said Wiehahn.
The site where the slaughtering took place is within metres of the main road to St Francis and the SPCA fence.
“When I questioned the men about their choice of site I was told that their ritual and culture does not allow slaughter on private property.”
He said the aggression was palpable and that he was threatened.
However, a group of residents, who had participated in the slaughtering, went to apologise to Smit the next day, claiming the cow was slaughtered for a funeral and that the men were very emotional. They also said that the open space is very close to the house where the funeral was to be conducted from and that that spot was the biggest open space available to them.
The ground in front of the SPCA, on which the cow was slaughtered, belongs to the Kouga Municipality, and is earmarked for use as a pound to house stray cattle, under the joint management and control of the municipal law enforcement and the SPCA.
Members of the municipal law enforcement and the department of health have visited and investigated the site were the cow was slaughtered.

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