Cape Town - A Woodstock woman was forced to apologise after assuming that animals were being abused when she saw a group of Muslims gather in a park on Saturday.
An outraged Megan Furniss made a desperate appeal for help on her community’s Facebook page after she thought a goat was being abused.
Furniss wrote: “Help! There is a goat tied to a pole in the children’s park in Queens Park. Huge crowd of people. Goat is screaming. What to do? Help.”
She also posted: “Did call SPCA but scared. Drove away but I am hysterical.”
Her post drew 50 comments, ranging from people urging her to call the SPCA and police, to people like Jennifer Bradley who asked if the people were having sex with the screaming goat.
Another woman, Mandy Soulsby-Bodart, said she didn’t blame Furniss for “running away” as the group was “huge”.
She posted: “Just been up there, no sign of goat, but strong smell of braai.”
Bradley was adamant the Muslims were slaughtering the animal: “no man, really doesnt sound right, goat is screaming, big crowd ... some ceremonious slaughtering i am absolutely sure. what would they want with a goat?? unless they were having sex with the goat??” (sic)
But it appears what was really taking place was a party for a seven-year old boy who loved animals.
According to the boy’s father, Siraj Waggie, the party was approved by the City of Cape Town and the animals were being handled by professionals.
Waggie posted photos of the party on the Woodstock page and said he only learnt about the “complaint” when he got home.
“It was my son’s 7th birthday party, he loves animals and wants to be a vet when he grows up. I requested permission from the City to host my kid’s birthday party with a petting zoo which had chickens, roosters, birds, rabbits, a tortoise and a dwarf goat. All the animals were well kept, clean and rather friendly to all,” he posted.
“Megan Furniss, it would’ve been prudent to approach us and enquire before ranting and posting hogwash, the option you chose to express your concern, seems purposeful to create chaos.
“To all the other keyboard commandos that accused us of ritual slaughtering and bestiality, may you find inner peace and focus your energy on creating a better South Africa for all...”
Well-known blogger Aisha Baker also attended the party and documented the whole debacle.
Furniss offered an apology: “I am deeply sorry. I really am. As an animal lover and someone who cannot manage animal cruelty I was deeply disturbed to see and hear the goat in distress. I had no idea what colour or religion the group of people were, and never once brought that up... I am duly brought down, properly humiliated and full of shame. Please accept my humble apology,” she replied.