The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is assessing the origins of a voice note circulating on social media, where a white woman is heard referring to black people as rapists and thieves, and calling for them to be banned and killed.
The voice note relates to growing calls from South Africans for pitbulls to be banned as domestic animals after a 15-month-old child was mauled to death by a pitbull in East London.
Commissioner at the South African Human Rights Commission Andre Gaum says, “The content of which horrific and deplorable. It no doubt constitutes prima facie hate speech of the worse possible kind. As the result the commission’s Gauteng office is assessing the matter and a decision is pending to either investigate it or take it to the Equality Court. The court could be approached to refer the matter to the NPA for possible prosecution.”
Meanwhile, the owner of the pitbull that mauled a one-year-old to death in East London on Wednesday Noleen Fourie says she will cooperate with law enforcement agencies but she’s taking no responsibility for what happened.
Fourie says the child was playing in her yard with her pitbull when it attacked him. She says her dog spotted someone walking their dog nearby, adding that her barking pitbull tried to escape the yard in an attempt to reach the passing dog when it turned on the child.
Another pet turned killer and the owner says the incident is regrettable but that she will own a pitbull again.
“I don’t think they should be banned, it’s not the dog’s fault. Yes, I agree my dog took a life but the thing is I had him only for two years. If he was a puppy, I would have brought him up totally different,” says Fourie.
This attack has further amplified the current debate around banning the breed as a pet.
“The debate about other breeds doesn’t hold water because all the attacks that have occurred in South Africa are associated with this particular breed of pitbull. All the children that have died, all the victims that are within our communities are victims of our particular breed of pitbull,” says Sizwe Kupelo from the Sizwe Kupelo Foundation.
The SPCA has taken custody of the dog. There is also an increase in the breed being surrendered to the SPCA.
“Any dog has the potential of attacking its owner unfortunately with your power breed they are much stronger they have better instinct of taking its prey, they can see anything as prey,” says SPCA senior inspector and general manager Andries Venter.
A case of culpable homicide is being investigated.
Owner of the pitbull that killed a one-year-old won’t take responsibility: