The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal by NSPCA to overturn an earlier ruling giving Al Mawashi the green light to continue with live export of sheep from South Africa.
Al Mawashi South Africa says it welcomes the Supreme Court of Appeal’s decision on Friday (12 March 2021) to dismiss the NSPCA’s leave to appeal the Makanda High Court’s ruling on an interim interdict that prohibited Al Mawashi from exporting sheep from South Africa to destinations in the Middle East – the first part of NSPCA’s two-prong legal strategy to ban live exports.
The Supreme Court dismissed NSPCA’s leave for appeal with costs.
Al Mawashi has interpreted this to mean that the NSPCA had no reasonable prospects of success.
This is the sixth case lost by the NSPCA at Magistrate, High and Supreme court levels for “baseless and malicious” litigation to ban transportation of animals by sea, which is legal in South Africa, not restricted in any country of the world, and carried out with adherence to the OIE standards and requirements.
The company said that since beginning its ‘lawfare’ and abuse of court systems in March 2020, the NSPCA’s legal costs owed to Al Mawashi ordered by courts is estimated in millions of rands.
“It is an injustice in our opinion that funds raised from the public, fees paid by the SPCA branches to the NSPCA, and perhaps even grant funding from the National Lotteries Commission, which NSPCA lists as a donor on its website, are possibly being misappropriated on the basis of banning a trade that is legal in South Africa and every country of the world,” said Mr. Ilyaas Ally, MD: Al Mawashi South Africa.
Ally said it will be interesting to understand how the NLC will react to NSPCA’s Machiavellian conduct which is disrupting the growth of rural communities and the economy as a whole given that the NLC mandate and grant funding criteria revolve around improving livelihoods, uplifting communities and restoring human dignity.
He said NSPCA’s litigation and conduct has already led to losses of R300 million for the Eastern Cape’s economy and people given that two shipments had to be forfeited, leaving farmers and rural communities deprived from income.
Ally said SPCA branches are statutorily obliged through the SPCA Act to pay contributions to NSPCA. “You have a situation where the NSPCA is out on a wild legal spending spree while SPCA branches often bemoan their financial difficulties and hardships. It simply is a real injustice for the majority of SPCA branches that are frontline workers committed towards animal welfare and fighting real animal cruelty issues and cases, while the NSPCA are chasing the phantoms they conjured with possible branch level contributions,” he said.
“Despite this, we welcome the Supreme’s court ruling on Friday. We will continue to fight with every breath to protect the food security of Middle Eastern nations and support Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Free State farmers trading with us. We remain grateful to the groundswell of support to all stakeholders, especially organised agriculture, farmers and SAVA-accredited livestock vets.”
Ally said it was important for NSPCA to note that Al Mawashi is not going anywhere any time soon, and will protect the foreign direct investment it made into the South African economy.
Al Mawashi SA spokesperson JP Roodt said beginning in 2019, the NSPCA set out to portray live exports as an inherently cruel trade supporting the extremist agendas of radical animal rights groups and activists in South Africa and abroad.
“NSPCA employed misleading footage, and circulated false and embellished claims not representative of South African live exports or Al Mawashi South Africa. It decorated itself as a silver armoured knight for a fictitious animal cruelty crisis it manufactured to deceive the South African public, media and its own patrons. In
short, NSPCA employed a copycat tactic used by animal rights groups to exploit SA live exports for donations and fundraising in our opinion.”
“It is our opinion that the NSPCA’s current predicament, namely, the massive financial debt it has incurred on legal costs is self-inflicted. This course of action has also set the NSPCA on a path of self-destruction, including the creation of a credibility crisis for itself among the South African public and media, organised agriculture, its patrons and some SPCAs, with the latter group reaching out to us for information which the NSPCA appears to be keeping under wraps from its own branches.