Alison Roux, the manager of the East London Zoo has appeared briefly in court on a charge of animal cruelty.
The case was postponed to October 19 for further investigation. Roux appeared before magistrate Rochelle Sam in the East London Magistrate’s Court last week.
State prosecutor Asanda Nolusu told the court that police were still investigating allegations against Roux and that the case should be postponed to next month.
The state’s request was granted by the magistrate, who then released Roux on warning. She has not been asked to plead.
Roux’s court appearance follows an announcement in July by the NSPCA wildlife protection unit national inspector Cassandra MacDonald she would press animal cruelty charges against the zoo.
This followed the death of a female gibbon monkey called Peanut in July. Allegations were that Peanut, who died of tuberculosis, may have been infected by humans. Peanut died in her enclosure on July 2, four months after her mate died of the disease.
MacDonald said the charges included contravening the Animal Protection Act. Peanut was not the only casualty under East London Zoo’s care. In May a chacma baboon named William was put down after he was found to be suffering paralysis in his hind legs.
When a warning that the baboon be examined by a vet was not complied with, William was euthanased on site as his condition had deteriorated to the point where his open wounds became infested with maggots, the Dispatch reported at the time.
Buffalo City Metro spokesman Samnkelo Ngwenya said NSPCA was playing to the public gallery.
“We acknowledged our challenges and we were at a place where we had tabled how we would fix them. This is an organisation that is trying to paint us as the bad people,” he said.