Mentally disabled man killed by three pit bulls

Johannes Lewis was killed on Sunday morning when three pit bulls attacked him in his Lutzville home. Picture: Supplied

Johannes Lewis was killed on Sunday morning when three pit bulls attacked him in his Lutzville home. Picture: Supplied

Published Nov 23, 2023


Cape Town - Three pit bulls savagely bit a mentally disabled man who was standing in his yard, killing him. Lutzville man Johannes Lewis, 47, died on Sunday morning shortly after the attack.

Police said the dogs mauled someone else before the deceased.

Lewis’ brother-in-law Gert Flink said his family couldn’t save him.

“He was standing in front of the house, and the dogs came into the yard through our neighbour’s yard. They saw Johannes standing there and they attacked him in his own home.

“My sister-in-law and other family members were inside and at that stage. They couldn’t open the door ... they were also scared and couldn’t do anything to help him.”

He said a neighbour threw stones at the dogs and managed to chase them away. “When the dogs went, Johannes was brought into the house – he was still alive. The paramedics arrived, and when he was about to be loaded into the vehicle, he passed away.”

Flink said the horrific incident had left a painful memory.

“I don’t even want to remember the wounds, there was blood all over the front yard, his body was covered with bite marks, the dogs ripped the flesh off his neck, he was left with deep wounds – arms and legs.”

The heartbroken man said the dogs belonged to a neighbour who lived opposite their home.

“There were four dogs but only three bit him.

“Earlier that morning, the dogs bit two other people. Those were not the only victims; we have been speaking to my neighbour’s son to get rid of the dogs and that didn’t happen.

“It didn’t have to get to this, the dogs were supposed to have been removed a long time ago, I guess this had to happen for any action to be taken. My neighbour came over but her son has not set foot here. We want justice for what happened to Johannes.”

Flink said Lewis didn’t have children and that he was a disabled man who was epileptic.

Rural and Farm Workers Development Organisation executive director Billy Claasen said the deceased’s family informed him about the incident.

“He was a well-known person and people loved him in Lutzville. They informed me that he was attacked by the dogs. The same dogs bit off the ear of another person. These dogs were supposed to be behind secured gates. The death of Johannes was not in vain; we need to take action now.”

Police spokesperson Nowonga Sukwana said in the first incident on Sunday morning at 5am, a 38-year-old man was walking in Wandel Street and when he passed a property he was set upon by the dogs because the gate had been left open.

“The victim was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. In the second incident at 5.30am, unfortunately, the 47-year-old male did not survive the attack and died on the scene.

“The dogs were taken to a Darling vet on the day of the incidents. The two dockets were forwarded to the senior public prosecutor on Tuesday for a decision.”

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Cape Argus