NSPCA HAS STATUTORY POWER TO INSTITUTE PRIVATE PROSECUTIONS – A TRIUMPH FOR ANIMALS AND HUMAN MORALITY National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development  ZACC 46
Keywords:National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, statutory power, private prosecution
In this case note, the decision of the Constitutional Court in National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development ( ZACC 46) will be discussed, where it was held that the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) has the statutory power of private prosecution conferred upon it by section 6(2)(e) of the Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 169 of 1993 (SPCA Act) read with section 8 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (CPA) (par 65). From the ancient Khoisan reverence of the eland to the contemporary conception of the dog as “man’s best friend”, humans and animals have a storied relationship, one that is a part of the fabric of our society, homes and lives (par 1). Animals have shifted from being “mere brutes or beasts” to “fellow beasts, fellow mortals or fellow creatures” and finally to “companions, friends and brothers”. Many animal activists and animal anti-cruelty supporters argue that animals just as human beings deserve to live their lives free from violence, suffering and exploitation. It is essential that individuals or organisations intervene where necessary to protect these voiceless companions when they are mistreated. Many organisations and societies that exist around the world, similar to the NSPCA work hard to defend the welfare of animals (par 1). These organisations have for many years been the champion of the norm that we do not accept acts of cruelty against those who cannot defend themselves (par 1).
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