Boss alleges guard was armed with stick, panga in dogbite incident

Stephan and his father Piet Groenewald.

One of the two South African men accused of setting a dog on their Namibian security guard says the guard was armed with a panga and pickaxe handle before he was attacked by a dog.

Namibian national Veneruru Kavari (30) told The Namibian last week he was assaulted and subjected to racial abuse by his South African employer, Piet Groenewald (63), and his son Stephen, before they set a dog on him.

The incident occurred in the Limpopo province.

At the time, Kavari worked for them as a security guard.

Last week, the South African Police Service said before the attack, Kavari’s supervisor, who visited him at the site, allegedly accused him of being intoxicated while on duty and took him to Groblersdal to discuss the matter with the manager.

In an affidavit read in the Groblersdal Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, Groenewald accused Kavari of throwing the pickaxe handle at him and the dog outside.

Veneruru Kavari

Groenewald said although he missed, a “visibly drunk” Kavari hit the dog. He added that he took the pickaxe handle from Kavari so that he would not use the weapon against them.

“The complainant [Kavari] still had the panga, threatening to attack us. I approached the complainant to calm down, before I could reach him, the security guard stopped him from attacking us,” he said.

He maintained that he never assaulted Kavari in any manner.

“I do have previous convictions, in 2003 I was convicted on two counts of murder and one of attempted murder. I committed these offences in the execution of my duty as a soldier,” he said.

He said he served a prison sentence for his conviction and he received amnesty for these convictions.

The case was postponed to 7 February to allow the defence to present more evidence in court.

South Africa’s Eyewitness News reported on Wednesday that investigating officer Gregory Maleasenya said that a state witness would not be safe should the accused be released on bail.

He told the court that the witness, whose identity has been withheld, was receiving death threats from an unknown person.

“This is what I am trying to explain to this court to indicate that our witness here is not safe. I have indicated that I was with the witness and the witness indicated to me that he doesn’t want to be involved, he doesn’t want his name to be mentioned because he is afraid for his life,” Maleasenya was quoted as saying.

Speaking to The Namibian last week, Kavari claimed his employer told his son to set a dog on him, using the derogatory and racist term “ka#@*r”.

After the assault, Kavari filed a police report, leading to the arrest of both Groenewald and his son on charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Kavari also alleged he was detained for three days on suspicion of property damage, but was later released. He denied damaging any property at a network tower battery site at Kwaggafontein, Mpumalanga, where he was posted.

He said three days before the alleged attack, he requested to sign an employment contract and Groenewald ignored him. Kavari said he worked for Groenewald’s company for seven days.

He said Groenewald promised to pay him N$300 per day.

“The day I was attacked, Groenewald asked me why I was drunk on duty. I told him I was not drunk, then he started beating me. Later on, he told his son to get the dog so it bites me. He said ‘bring the dog so it bites this ka#@*r’,” Kavari recounted.

He said he has since left the job and is now at home.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!