Charges laid against two at Modise farm

Johannesburg - Charges of intimidation, assault, and kidnapping have been laid against two people at the North West farm of National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise, the NSPCA said on Wednesday.

"Charges of intimidation, assault, and kidnapping have been laid against the spokesperson of Thandi Modise and an individual who currently runs the farm, whose identity is not known to the NSPCA," said National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) executive director Marcelle Meredith.

She said the charges arose from an alleged altercation at the farm on 29 July when NSPCA inspectors went to the premises to check on the condition of cattle.

The inspectors were in possession of a warrant and were escorted by police, Meredith said.

"A man with dreadlocks we found at the farm did not have a problem with us being there. Modise's spokesperson Neo Moepi emerged and was the one who gave instructions to the man to take possession of the inspectors' vehicle keys," Meredith said.

She accused Moepi of kidnapping after he allegedly locked them inside the property and would not let them out.

Police spokesperson Lefa Barda confirmed a docket was opened on 28 July, but said it only contained a charge of intimidation.

"There is nothing in here about assault and kidnapping. There is a faded photo of a dreadlocked man with no name. There is no second person mentioned in the charge sheet," Barda said.

Meredith said the case was opened in Alberton, east of Johannesburg, and was transferred to Buffelshoek police station in Potchefstroom where the charges of cruelty to animals were laid against Modise on 25 July.

"Those are the three charges we laid. It is really up to the police to decide on the charges."

Threatening claims denied

Last week, Moepi denied threatening the two NSPCA inspectors with violence, claiming he had saved them from harm at the hands of farmworkers.

Earlier that day, the NSPCA alleged that Moepi and a farm manager threatened to kick the inspectors' car and set it alight, and grabbed a cellphone and erased recordings.

Last month, police and NSPCA inspectors found starving and dead animals on the farm Modderfontein, near Potchefstroom.

About 85 live pigs had begun cannibalising 58 dead pigs, and were reportedly drinking their own urine.

Sheep, geese, goats, and ducks were also among the more than 100 dead animals. Many had to be put down.

It appeared the animals had been without water and food for a week, possibly two.

There were no farmworkers on the property, no electricity, and the water pumps were broken.