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Thandi Modise, Speaker of the National Assembly, would have made her first court appearance in the Potchefstroom District Court today on charges of animal abuse. Her legal team however argued that she could not appear in court due to her responsibilities as parliamentary speaker and presiding officer at President Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation in Cape Town.

AfriForum’s private prosecution team however argued that the parliamentary speaker’s position does not elevate her above the country’s courts. The summons was served on Modise on 15 May 2019.

The case follows after AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit announced last year that it would privately prosecute Modise on behalf of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA). The hearing was postponed to 22 July 2019.

“AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit welcomes the hearing, so that Modise can finally answer for this cruel case of animal abuse. Not even the speaker of Parliament should be able to evade prosecution merely because she is a high-placed political figure. Our involvement underlines the respect we have for the selfless work of the NSPCA,” says Elias Maangwale, Investigator at AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit.

Follow these links for background on this case:

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