Speaker of Parliament Thandi Modise says she has deliberately kept quiet about the animal cruelty case against her. Modise was speaking to her supporters outside the Potchefstroom Magistrate's Court yesterday after an appearance, notes News24.

Lobby group AfriForum is accusing her of leaving her farm in the North West unattended, causing the death of more than 50 pigs and other animals, including geese, ducks, sheep and goats in 2014.

Modise said she has been closely watching all the roleplayers in the case and believed the delays in the matter were deliberate in order to weaken her chances of winning. ‘They drag it (case) until you know that you cannot afford lawyers and you have to stand by yourself. It is deliberately being dragged out, but we come from Umkhonto (we Sizwe). We were taught patience, discipline. So, that discipline is still there, it will persevere. We will conquer,’ the former North West Premier said.

The head of AfriForum's private prosecuting unit, Advocate Gerrie Nel, informed the court sitting before Magistrate Ben Mtebele that the matter was ready to go to trial.

He said pre-trial issues had been resolved and the unit would hand over a case docket to the defence.

Nel said provisional trial dates had been set for 24-26 March next year. The dates are provisional as Modise's defence, Wesley Vittee, said his client would soon receive a schedule and timetable of her duties for the first term of the National Assembly next year.

AfriForum investigator Elias Maangwale said it was all systems go for the unit and that investigations were complete. He said the unit was confident in its case.

Full News24 report