Abdul Mogale, is Thandi Modise’s former boyfriend and an ANC councillor for the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality, neighbouring farmers told amaBhungane.
The black former ANC premier Modise has been charged with the death of up to 80 animals and euthanasing of a further 117 by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) after they had been denied food and water for two weeks.
Modise purchased the 488 hectare farm with a R4.9-million Land Bank loan in 2011 for her black boyfriend say insiders.
Farmworkers aslo claim they had been underfed and underpaid, and that they had begged for food on the black-owned farm.
The former romantic relationship between Modise and Mogale was confirmed this week by Modise’s spokesperson Neo Moepi.
Long-term neglect and plundering of the farm was evident when amaBhungane visited the farm.
The ANC is currently pushing for laws to disown white farmers, much like in Zimbabwe where the black landgrab has resulted in famine.
According to the SPCA and a well-informed veterinary source, the pigs had been underfed for longer than two weeks.
Neighbours also said that the cattle on the farm had gathered at the electric fence around the farm, well before the SPCA’S intervention, desperate for food and water.
The desperate starving pigs could be heard squeeling for water from kilometres away.
Andries Venter from the SPCA said various things pointed to long-term neglect that would be probed for a possible criminal case against Modise. “There is definite evidence of overall neglect that has gone on for months,” he said.
The water pumps were out of order and amaBhungane saw fences in disrepair. According to Daan van den Berg, the farm’s previous owner whom amaBhungane interviewed this week, the pump failure was because of an electrical short circuit that the SPCA asked him to rectify.
Modise suggested that the water and electricity supply to the farm had been cut off, saying that she wanted an investigation to determine who had done this.
Previous owner Van den Berg said that on two occasions shortly after Modise bought the farm, Mogale had asked him to source feed for the pigs. Mogale did not explain why he could not source the feed himself.
Van den Berg said the tractor and implements he sold with the farm did not seem to have been used for years.