CAPE TOWN FOR CAPETONIANS
Published by capeetc on October 22, 2020 511
This month, the Western Cape High Court filed papers that opine the relocation of Kataza the baboon, by the City of Cape Town, is a violation of the Animal Protection Act and an “abject failure”.
The papers also challenge the City’s presumed authority to manage baboons on the Cape Peninsula.
As reported by News24, animal activist Ryno Engelbrecht made an application to review the City’s decision to relocate Kataza on October 2.
He also requested an order of the court for the baboon’s GPS trackers and ear tags to be removed, as well as for him to be returned to his home in Slangkop, Kommetjie.
Engelbrecht originally had his attorneys, Visser & Associates, send the City a letter of demand.
There was no response to this letter.
Engelbrecht cited CapeNature and South African National Parks (SANParks) as the second and third respondent respectively, and claims they “shirked their statutory obligations” at the cost of Cape Town’s rates payers.
The South African Navy and Human and Wildlife Solutions (HWS) were cited as the fourth and fifth respondents, as they are members of the City’s Baboon Technical Team (BTT).
HWS were contracted by the city to help manage the indigenous chacma baboon population found on the urban edge of the Cape Peninsula. Their contract came to an end at the end of September.
The residents of Kommetjie, as well as animal activists, were concerned when Kataza was relocated from Slangkop in August. A petition was started, with more than 23 000 people adding their signatures, requesting for Kataza to be returned home.
The court papers include 12 supporting affidavits which confirm that the baboon was witnessed roaming the Tokai area for 30 days, while he was only seen in Kommetjie for six days in July.
The court papers also include a veterinary assessment by primatologist Paul Venter, who works at the Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, confirming that Kataza is fatigued and stressed.
According to City Mayco Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Marian Niewoudt, she has no knowledge of a statute or municipal by-law that regards the management of baboons or other wild animals “that authorises the first respondent to do so.”
“It may very well be the respondent(s) who took the said decisions were not authorised to do so and that they were taken illegally,” she said.
Picture: Bring Kataza back/Facebook