The National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise has lodged a complaint with the Press Ombudsman against the Sowetan, a spokesperson said.
Spokesperson Neo Moepi said the newspaper distorted Modise’s statement on animals that were found abandoned on her farm over the weekend.
“The article… under the headline ‘I suffered more than my pig’ on its front page is not only defamatory, amounts to character assassination but also creates the impression that Thandi Modise did not value the lives of or care for the animals that were kept on her farm,” he said in a statement.
Police and officials of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) went to the farm on Saturday where they found dead and dying animals. These included pigs, sheep, geese, goats and ducks. It appeared the animals had been without water and food for around two weeks. There were no farmworkers on the property, no electricity, and the water pumps were broken.
The Sunday Independent reported that the surviving 85 pigs on the farm had begun cannibalising 58 dead pigs, and were reportedly drinking their own urine.
Moepi said while Modise had expressed sadness and explained in detail the unfortunate and tragic circumstances surrounding the desertion of the animals on her farm, she was angered by the twist that portrayed her as uncompassionate.
“Desertion of my livestock without my knowledge is the worst nightmare that I have ever experienced and though I might not receive sympathy from some quarters, the least that I expect is that truth be told about what happened and what I said,” Modise said. – Sapa.