Port Alfred restaurant where head chef worked closed as staff come to terms with her death
Police on Monday said three pit bull terriers, allegedly responsible for the death of a 37-year-old Port Alfred woman on Sunday had been removed by the SPCA.
The owner of the dogs lives in the vicinity.
The dogs allegedly managed to escape from the secured property by damaging the perimeter fencing.
Port Alfred restaurant Judy’s Kitchen was closed on Monday as owner Judy Lottering and her staff tried to come to terms with the sudden brutal death of their much-loved colleague, Zimkhitha Brenda Gaga, who was attacked by dogs on her way to work on Sunday.
She died on the scene.
When the head chef at Judy’s Kitchen at Rosehill Mall did not arrive at work on Sunday morning, her colleagues were immediately concerned.
“Brenda has always been very reliable,” Lottering said.
“We were very concerned when she did not arrive for work and we tried to contact her.”
It was midday before they learned of Gaga’s terrible death.
“We are closed today because it has been a terrible shock for all of us,” Lottering said.
“We are devastated and we need time to grieve.”
Gaga, 37, was mauled to death by dogs while walking in Alfred Road. She was on her way to catch a taxi to the restaurant in Rosehill Mall.
Police spokesperson Brig Thembinkosi Kinana said dogs had attacked her on the upper body.
“She was certified dead at the scene,” Kinana said.
The police say they would like to speak to two people who alerted a security guard to the attack.
Col Priscilla Naidu of the police’s provincial office said: “At about 7.45am, the woman was walking in Alfred Road when she was attacked.
“Two males who witnessed the attack, ran to a nearby security official and reported the incident.
“The security official contacted the police; however when police arrived, the badly injured woman was lying on the side of the road.
“The woman sustained serious injuries to her face and upper body. The dogs were nowhere to be found.
“She died prior to receiving any medical attention,” Naidu said.
The Ndlambe municipality said they would issue a statement regarding the incident but this was not available at the time of publication.
Last week, Talk of The Town published the first edition of a local government bulletin.
In it, the Community Protection Services directorate said: “Lately the municipality has become aware of serious complaints involving dogs which attack people and other dogs within the area of Ndlambe.
“The Public Nuisance and Keeping of Animals bylaw states that the owner or keeper of a dog may not bring or allow it in a street or public place (including parks and beaches) unless the dog is on a leash and under the physical control of a responsible person.
“The onus is on you to abide by these bylaws and as the dog owner/keeper, you will be held directly liable for any injuries and or loss of life that may occur.
“Failure to do so will lead to prosecution.
“The safety of the general public (including animals) in such areas is of utmost importance to Ndlambe municipality,” the bulletin read.
Ndlambe District SPCA said they had been advised by the police not to comment in the interests of the investigation.
Naidu said an inquest docket had been opened.