The sentence of a convicted donkey abuser must send a strong message to other donkey owners.
That hope was voiced by Mariaan Wentzel, an inspector of the Animal Protection Association (SPCA) in Uitenhage, after the magistrate’s court convicted a donkey breeder, Siyabonga Sitatu, of animal abuse in December.
Sitatu was sentenced Monday to 12 months of correctional supervision. The court further ordered that he be placed under house arrest, not allowed to own a donkey again, and must provide 16 hours of community service each month for his sentence.
The community service will be performed in the form of cleaning services at the SPCA.
Wentzel says Sitatu will be a welcome extra pair of hands at the SPCA, where he will also be taught about respect for animals.
The case against Sitatu has been in court since the end of 2018 when he was stopped by Wentzel in Matanzima Road, KwaNobuhle, that November with three donkeys and a donkey cart. One of the donkeys was pregnant.
“The donkeys were hit with a sambok and I immediately noticed the injuries to them. Some of the wounds were still raw, there was blood and they were malnourished, ”she says.
With the help of police members, Wentzel stopped the donkey cart and filed a case under the Animal Protection Act 71 of 1962.
Wentzel says she has two more pending animal abuse cases involving donkeys and she believes this sentence will help achieve success in the case.
“We are very pleased with the sentence. The sentence could have been heavier, but he was a first offender and we accept the court’s outcome. “