Dr Sameer Abbas, a veterinary surgeon practicing in Potchefstroom, appeared before an independent disciplinary committee at the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) on 08 May 2015 on a complaint lodged by the NSPCA against Dr Abbas for unprofessional conduct in terms of the SAVC rules. Personnel from the National Council of SPCAs testified at the hearing. Dr Abbas’ conduct related to his refusal to hand over evidence and reports relating to the criminal charges laid against Thandi Modise.
Dr Abbas took his own photographs at the farm after the National Council of SPCAs had gained entrance under a Court Order. He took tissue samples of the animals for analysis which the NSPCA expected would form the basis of his report for inclusion in the docket relating to the criminal charges laid against Thandi Modise. The Veterinarian also performed post-mortem examinations on the carcass of a sheep that had died on the Modise farm.
The National Council of SPCAs was advised in an e-mail from Dr Abbas dated 22 July 2015 that he no longer wished to have any involvement in the matter. “Please do not make any further contact or send any further correspondence.”
The NSPCA was taken aback by this declaration, confirming that it was the first time in the organisation’s 59 year history that a Veterinarian had undertaken work for the NSPCA then refused to provide a report. The independent disciplinary committee found Dr Abbas guilty on two charges of contravening the SAVC Rules. Dr Abbas’ license to practice was suspended for six months, the suspension itself being suspended for two years.
In a case that came to light in July 2014, it was found that animals were starving on a farm owned by Thandi Modise in Modderfontein, outside Potchefstroom. Over 50 dead pigs were discovered and the remaining 85 pigs were cannibalising on the rotten carcasses of other pigs. Thandi Modise is the Chairman of the National Council of Provinces.
Criminal charges were laid in terms of the Animals Protection Act. According to the SAPS, the case is still being investigated and they are awaiting Ms Modise’s affidavit.