According to the judgment, Cloete was saved by a passerby who risked his own life.
“He was saved from worse injury, or perhaps death, by the extremely courageous conduct of a passerby, Jacques van Schalkwyk, who, without regard for his own safety, fought the dogs off of [Cloete] and then kept them way from [Cloete]. He was ultimately also attacked by the same dogs,” said judge Murray Lowe.
“The dogs themselves were owned by [Van Meyeren]. One of them had been a so-called ‘rescue dog’ and was the mother of the other two younger but fully-grown dogs. They were ‘mixed breed’ large dogs which showed pitbull dog features and were treated by [Van Meyeren] and his family as house dogs — sleeping indoors.”
The dogs, which were covered in Cloete’s blood, were later put down.
The court found Van Meyeren liable this week and ordered him to pay the legal costs. The quantum of damages is yet to be determined.