Game, set, match. Livestock exporter Al Mawashi walks away with no less than two concurrent victories this month in a ten-month long legal battle with its public adversary, the NSPCA.
The livestock trade giant yesterday welcomed the Makanda High Court’s ruling to dismiss the NSPCA’s application to appeal the court’s decision against an interim interdict levelled against the company delaying the export of sheep to the Middle East.
Earlier this month, the same court ordered the NSPCA to pay Al Mawashi’s legal fees after it “unlawfully detained” the Al Messilah, a livestock carrier in the Al Mawashi fleet.
The NSPCA lodged an application for leave to appeal the court’s decision and argued their case on 6 November 2020.
In light of its recent victory, managing director of Al Mawashi South Africa, Ilyaas Ally maintains, “Nowhere in the world is the industry banned. The NSPCA must refreshen its leadership, rehone its vision or reconsider its stance on live exports. On numerous occasions, we have extended an olive branch asking for an amicable working relationship.”
Ally now speculates that failed litigation comes at the expense of donor funding to the NSPCA. “This is concerning as the canalization of funds appears to be misaligned with the NSPCA’s mandate of animal cruelty prevention in areas where such funds and resources are desperately needed.”
‘Animal welfare or extortionist?’
In March this year, Al Mawashi signed a multi-million rand off-take agreement which was set to procure sheep to the value of between R30 million and R90 million over the next three years.
The Al Mawashi deal formed part of its empowerment strategy to grow, foster and support the development of black emerging livestock farmers alongside commercial farmers in the live export industry.
Legal woes, however, hampered in the execution of the mammoth deal, until Al Mawashi was given the green light by the Grahamstown high court in August.
Ally says, “Over the past 10 months, NSPCA’s Machiavellian conduct has led to our company running losses in millions.
“The temporary disruption in the live exports, which resulted in us not fulfilling another shipment for the year, has also deprived the Eastern Cape’s agricultural economy from income, especially against the impact of covid-19.”
Ally further deemed the NSPCA’s action “anti-humanistic, anti-developmental and anti-government” as live exports respond to many integrated objectives and support socio-economic goals of agricultural communities, especially those in red meat production and livestock farming.
“Nowhere in the world is the industry banned. The NSPCA must refreshen its leadership or reconsider its stance on live exports.” – ILYAAS ALLY
“Seen from this view, it becomes concerning that the NSPCA continues on what appears to be a failed and misguided mission to ban live exports based on crystalised views that the industry is inherently cruel. We have and will continue to defend this in the courts.”
According to Ally, the order by the Makanda High Court was “not appealable.” “It should be remembered, there is only certain instances when an interim order be the subject of an appeal, and this case was not one of them,” he stressed.