The slaughter of donkeys has raised concerns about consumers being duped when ordering “pap and vleis” from vendors on the outskirts of Pretoria.
Three men caught driving a Citi Golf‚ loaded with buckets and refuse bags of freshly slaughtered donkey meat‚ appeared in the Ga-rankuwa Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of livestock theft.
Zimbabwean national Mgcini Dube was denied bail while local residents Stephen Sepeng and Collen Molapo were released on bail of R1‚000 and R500 respectively.
The trio were arrested on November 29 when an off duty police captain spotted a suspicious vehicle making a U-turn.
SPCA inspector Mishack Matlou was shocked when he arrived at the scene of arrest‚ after the organisation was contacted by the police.
“The meat was packed in buckets and refuse bags. We are still investigating as to how we could add cruelty to animals to their charges because the donkeys are killed in the most horrible way‚ sometime hacked with pangas‚” he said.
Matlou said since 2015 more than 300 donkeys had been slaughtered in the areas of Winterveldt‚ Kgabalatsane‚ Klipgat and Madidi. The meat had been removed. He said recently the heads‚ legs and skins of more than 30 donkeys had been found in the bush.
“They remove the meat and leave heads‚ legs and skins. We have information that this meat ends up in pots of food vendors and ultimately plates of customers‚” he said.
Matlou said that the SPCA and police would be checking on street vendors in the area. Food vendors who failed to produce a receipt for their meat would have some explaining to do and their meat could be confiscated for inspection.
Matlou said that some donkey meat was allegedly sold as “game” to unsuspecting commuters at Mabopane station.
Michael Moeng‚ a donkey owner from Mafufu in Jericho‚ was shocked when he the found legs‚ heads and skins of his three donkeys that went missing.
He earned a living using six donkeys to haul a cart transporting various items‚ including sand‚ firewood and water. Now he is left with three donkeys that he guards with his life.
“I went to the police station to report the matter and I was told three men had been arrested a day before‚ after they were found in possession of donkey meat. What makes me sick is that I know these people‚” he said.
A food vendor in the area‚ who requested not to be named‚ said he had no idea that donkey meat was being sold‚ adding that he obtained his meat from an abattoir in Brits.
He had‚ however‚ heard that some vendors purchased cheap meat at Mabopane station. “I am worried about this because it will kill business. People are going to stop buying from us once this becomes public‚” he said.
Richard Dube‚ a regular at a popular food vendor’s outlet in Winterveldt‚ was shocked about the donkey slaughter but said that he trusted his vendor.
“It is a trust issue. I have bought food almost on a daily basis for the past five years from the same vendor and that is why I trust him‚” he added.
By: Times Live