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Tswale must be moved, Mbombela High Court orders

Tswale, a rescue elephant that has been kept on the Lowhills farm and used for human interaction for about two years, must be removed from the area, according to a recent court order.

Tswale, the well-known elephant from the Lowhills farm in the Onderberg, must be removed from the area.

This, after the Mbombela High Court recently granted an interdict to the owners of the farm, Shofeeds, a company from Parys. Tswale is a rescue elephant that has been kept on Lowhills and was used for human interaction for about two years.

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Shofeeds applied for an urgent interdict against Johan Moller, Sonell Joubert and Conference and Management Solutions, who all operate from the farm.

The case was tabled before Judge Brian Mashile in mid May when Shofeeds asked for a court order to have Tswale leave the farm, and to have all interaction with members of the public disallowed. Furthermore, they asked the court to have Moller and Joubert prohibited from excavating, removing or selling gravel on the farm, and have them stop cutting, collecting or selling firewood from there, and lastly, that they are not allowed to arrange or allow any motor vehicle rallies or similar events on Lowhills.

Shofeeds bought Lowhills last year during a liquidation sale. At the time, Tswale, Amos Jivendava (Tswale’s handler), Joubert and Moller were already living on the farm.

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Adv Johnna Kruger, who represented Shofeeds in court, said they have numerous concerns, which forced them to apply for the interdict. Among these are the possibility of civil or even criminal liability by the owner of the farm should someone visiting or interacting with Tswale get hurt or even get killed. The same liability goes for events such as motor rallies, which have been held on the farm.

The application was unopposed as Judge Mashile found that the respondents did not comply with the rules of the court by handing in their opposing documents in on time.

He also refused to hear or allow Zietta Janse van Rensburg from Malalane, who tried to represent the respondents, attending to the case, as she is currently suspended as an attorney.

Despite the court order given that the elephant must be removed from the farm within seven days, the respondents did not adhere to it.

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When approached for comment on the interdict and why they had refused to comply with it, neither Moller nor Joubert responded, but referred Lowvelder to Janse van Rensburg. She said the newspaper was not affording them enough time to respond.

Lowvelder will do a follow-up with their comments once they are received.

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