“Maybe he was just trying to do his job, because everyone was tense at that time during the first couple of days of the lockdown,” said Ramoabi.
“But, the aggression with which he approached us was very obvious. The dogs reacted as many dogs would in such a situation – they growled. They did not really pose a threat to the policeman, in my opinion. They were not going to bite him. The policeman raised his gun and shot one dog, the one closest to him. Then he aimed and shot the other dog which was still in the yard. We were completely shocked. We confronted the officer and asked him why he shot the dogs like that.”
The officer apparently asked a number of questions about the gathering and the earlier quarrel. Then he got back in his vehicle and drove away.
Police spokesperson Andre Traut said the police were investigating.
“Lingelethu West police are aware of the incident and are looking into the circumstances surrounding the matter. The owner of the dogs declined to lodge an official criminal case,” he said.
GroundUp was not able to reach the owner of the dogs, as the number we were given went to voicemail.
Nel expressed sympathy for the challenges faced by police in enforcing the lockdown. Also, police officers in Khayelitsha regularly help animals in need by bringing them to the clinic. But what happened to Fifi and Fido was not an isolated incident, she added.