Gerald Cloete (42) – whose arm was ripped off when he was mauled by dogs in Rowallan Park – has received an exoneration in the Eastern Cape High Court (Port Elizabeth), with the judge holding the owner of the animals liable for the damages suffered.

The Herald reports Cloete sued dog owner Christiaan van Meyeren for R2.3m after the attack by three pitbull-type dogs in February 2017.

The court must still decide on the amount of damages to be paid to Cloete.

Judge Murray Lowe said there was no reason not to apply the law in this case, and described Cloete as a convincing witness.

There was no fault on the part of Cloete,’ he said.

He was an entirely innocent passer-by on a public road.’

He found that as Cloete walked past Van Meyeren’s home, he had heard the sound of dogs running behind him just before he was attacked and pulled to the ground.

He had done nothing whatsoever to cause or provoke the attack,’ the judge said.

He ordered a punitive cost order against Van Meyeren for initially denying the dogs belonged to him even though knew it was his animals involved in the attack.

Full report in The Herald (subscription needed)