Durban – A petition calling for pit bulls to be banned has garnered 50 000 signatures.
Last month, the Sizwe Kupelo Foundation started the petition after a 10-year-old boy was mauled by his family's two pit bulls at his house in Gelvandale.
Storm Nuku and two other children were playing in the house with the dogs when one reportedly turned on him and mauled him. He died on the scene and police put down the two dogs. An inquest docket was opened.
At the weekend, an eight-year-old boy was mauled to death by a neighbour's pit bull. Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thabo Covane said the dog escaped from its enclosure and got into the yard where the boy was. Covane said the child had been playing alone outside. He said the dog bit the boy on the neck and chest.
"Police and paramedics were summoned to the scene, and the boy was declared dead on the scene," Covane said.
Police opened an inquest docket, and the dog was put down. The Bloemfontein SPCA said the neighbour's two other dogs had been removed and were in the care of the SPCA for safekeeping.
The foundation said the petition would be submitted to Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza — with the hope that national government will heed the call to protect and save lives by imposing a ban on the breed.
"Such unnecessary deaths can be prevented by banning the breed, which does not deserve to be classified as a domestic pet based on statistics of how it attacks and kills people without provocation," the foundation said.