He found that as Cloete walked past Van Meyeren’s home, he had heard the sound of dogs running behind him just before he was attacked and pulled to the ground.
“He had done nothing whatsoever to cause or provoke the attack,” the judge said.
“The attack was brutal despite his initial attempts to ward this off and he was very seriously bitten, in fact ultimately having his left arm amputated at the shoulder in a subsequent surgical intervention.
“[Cloete] was saved from worse injury, or perhaps death, by the extremely courageous conduct of a passer-by, Jacques van Schalkwyk, 44, who, without regard for his own safety, fought the dogs off Cloete and then kept them away from him, he ultimately also being attacked by the same dogs — for which he is to be highly commended,” Lowe said.
He described Van Meyeren and his wife Charline’s evidence, and their insistence that the dogs were kept behind a locked gate, as “far from impressive” and, in instances, contradictory.
He also ordered a punitive cost order against Van Meyeren for initially denying the dogs belonged to him even though both he and Charline, after they saw the dogs covered in blood, knew it was their animals involved in the attack.