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Six people have been convicted and sentenced to jail for
their involvement in illegal dog fighting.Kamogelo Mpiyane, Tshepo Aubrey Sejabatho, Enos Makhamatha,
Jabu Phillip Mabena and Samuel Mashilo Mothiba were all sentenced to two and a
half years imprisonment – with no option of a fine – by the Atteridgeville
Magistrate’s Court. Magistrate JC Kruger found them guilty of the possession of
14 pit bulls for the purpose of dog fighting, and other animal cruelty-related
offences.Samuel Ribane was also sentenced to 12 months for simply
watching the dog fight. Kruger said that Ribane had had ample time to distance
himself from the criminal activities, but chose not to.Mabena was sentenced to a further six months for the torture
of a dog named Mia.The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA), in 2018, rescued the
dogs which had been living in atrocious conditions in Atteridgeville.”Mia was kept in a cold, dark room, chained so tightly
to the roof rafters above that she couldn’t lie down. She was sick from disease
and infected wounds, and was unable to even reach water,” said senior
inspector Wendy Willson, manager of the Special Investigations Unit.pitbullIn his sentencing, Kruger said the crimes that the accused
were guilty of were “pointless and perverse”. The sentence had to
serve as a warning to others involved in associated activities, Kruger said.In this year alone, 12 people have been sentenced to prison
time – ranging from 12 months to five years – for their participation in dog
fighting activities, the NSCPA said on its website.The NSPCA specifically lists dog fighting as a heinous form
of cruelty.Animal abuse linked to abuse of people”It is a thriving and ever growing criminal activity in
South Africa, supported by people from all walks of life and various
backgrounds. Dog fights are not the work of a single law breaker, but instead
constitute a form of incredibly violent organised crime that is intricately
linked to many other criminal activities.”Belinda Abrahams, spokesperson for the Cape of Good Hope
SPCA, previously told News24 that judges and magistrates were also looking at
cases of animal abuse more seriously.”The increasing seriousness with which the courts are
viewing crimes against animals is becoming more and more evident, and the
National Council of SPCAs has just succeeded in the prosecution of three individuals
involved in the crime of dog fighting, including one who was only a spectator.”All three received direct imprisonment sentences of 32
months and 10 months respectively. Additionally, they were declared by the
court to be unfit to own any species of animal in the future.”Abuse of animals was usually linked to the abuse of people,
Abrahams added.”Animal abuse is often used as a threat, to compel
compliance or to silence a victim. Individuals who commit violent acts against
a vulnerable entity such as animals are up to nine times more likely to commit
violent acts against vulnerable people, such as women and children.”SOURCE: NEWS24

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