A 9-year-old Vosloorus girl had to have her arm amputated after she and her cousin were brutally attacked by two large pit bulls.
The children's families are now seeking justice for the pain and trauma they went through.
On October 29, Reatile Tolo, 9, and her three-year-old cousin Thoriso were attacked by two large pit bull dogs who had run out the open gate of their owner’s house in Vosloorus, Ekhurhuleni.
Thoriso’s father Freddy Mkambule told The Star that the children were walking to the house next door to where the dogs were, when the canines ran after them.
Mkambule added that the dogs first targeted his daughter but the nine-year-old stepped in to protect the toddler.
“The dogs turned their attention to her and attacked her in such a way that almost killed her because they were aggressive pit bulls,” he said.
Reatile was rushed to Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital for treatment but her hand was mauled so badly that it had to be amputated. She is still in hospital.
Mkambule said the family went to the Vosloorus Police Station and opened a case against the owner.
Spokesperson for the National Council of SPCA’s Meg Wilson said that if a dog were to attack a person, a case can be opened in terms of the Animal Matters Amendment Act No 42 of 1993 in order to claim medical costs and damages and to request the Magistrate to issue an order regarding the dog in question
Following the incident, the owner of the dogs went to the Tolo family’s home, however he was turned away because the families did not want to speak to him.
The father claimed that the owner returned last week Tuesday, however he was aggressive towards the boys’ mothers and offered them R1000.
“We told him that we didn’t want the money because we already opened a case and taking his money could possibly affect our case,” he said.
There was an altercation where Reatile's mother allegedly ended up being punched.
Other members of the community heard the commotion. They rushed there and the dogs' owner was pushed the owner out of the house. The family opened a case of assault against the owner and he also opened a counter assault against the family.
Over the weekend, the dog owner returned with the police to arrest Mkambule and Reatile’s grandmother and mother.
The ward councilor of the community Kehla Madlala told The Star that he was informed of the incident and engaged with the police to clarify the order in which the incidents happened to that all three cases that were opened by the family and the owner were relating to the same matter.
“They reviewed the three different cases and said they will verify the other statements and where there are witnesses, they will get it… but for now they are not charging anyone and not taking the family to court,” said Madlala.
The owner’s dogs were taken away by the SPCA and Mkambule said the family was focusing on the health of the two children.