The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) investigated a case of deliberate cruelty to a tortoise by a Mrs Letiya Mercy Lebakeng who was sentenced in the Palm Ridge Magistrate Court on 5 November 2018.
Mrs Lebakeng was accused of deliberately and forcefully throwing the tortoise against a rock in the road as it had apparently wondered into her yard. The owner of the tortoise brought the severely injured tortoise to the NSPCA to seek urgent assistance. The shell of the tortoise was seriously cracked and the tortoise was critically injured.
Mrs Lebakeng pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a fine for R500 or 50 days imprisonment. She was further sentenced to 12 month imprisonment which was suspended for 5 years should she be found guilty of animal cruelty and was further declared unfit to own or be in charge of any animal for a period of 5 years.
Magistrate Martini commented on the inherent value that animals have in our societal polity and the way in which we treat animals is significant to the value of our Constitution.