canine attack
© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
The family of a security guard killed by three Rottweilers at a Shakaskraal stable yard recently was given R5 000 by the owners "to say sorry".

Khulekani Mthembu worked at La Maine stable yard, a few kilometres inland of Shakaskraal village, as a security guard along with his brother, Collin.

Two weeks ago, the dogs attacked and killed Khulekani - in spite of the fact that he had been feeding them for the past three months.

The yard is popular with local horse owners, stabling about 24 horses. One horse owner, who told the Courier of the attack, said he was angry that this terrible tragedy had been deliberately kept "under the radar". Speaking from their family home near Gingindhlovu, Collin Mthembu described his brother as a very friendly, helpful person.

"We were working together, saving money to build a nice house for our family at Wumbana area, between Eshowe and Gingindlovu. Now that he is dead, I have lost hope that I will achieve our dream," he said. He said his brother, who was 33 years old, has been working there for the past three months and part of his job was to feed the dogs.

Collin Mthembu in better times with the three dogs who would end up killing his brother Khulekani.

Collin Mthembu in better times with the three dogs who would end up killing his brother Khulekani.
It is believed that the dogs have since been removed from the property, however it has not been possible to confirm whether they have been put down or not. Khulekani is survived by his six-year-old son, who is in grade one.

Collin said he had left La Maine because he could not work where his brother had died.

He said it is was not the first time these dogs attacked a worker.

Once before they had attacked a female labourer who had spent about nine months recovering in hospital.

Collin confirmed that La Maine management had paid Khlekani's family R5000 "to say sorry" for the death of his brother.

La Maine manageress Christine Cooper refused to comment, demanded to know who had called the paper and said this was "not the kind of thing we want in the Courier".

Umhlali SAPS confirmed the death and said an inquest docket had been opened. A Ballito-based dog trainer, Scott Farlam had previously told the Courier one of his biggest concerns with working breeds is the number of poorly bred animals.

"Protection dogs like German Shepherds and Rottweilers have had poor traits like aggressive temperaments bred into them," said Farlam.

He said any good breeder would know the most successful protection dogs possess the exact opposite - confidence.

"Having said that, it is naive to believe that there are stereotypical behavioural traits in any particular breed of dog and that there should never be a negative reaction like this from a particular breed of dog."

Farlam said there were a number of factors that played a part in the training and upbringing of a dog.

"Dogs are pack animals and thus form part of a complex hierarchy.

"We as a dog's care giver are responsible for the role of the Alpha in the pack and as part of our responsibility we provide food, shelter, love and discipline.

"No balanced dog will ever, and I repeat myself, ever, attack its owner!"