Thu, 20 Jun 2019

A man understood to be the husband of a former Matzikama municipality mayor has been arrested for the serious assault of a farmworker.

The farmer, whose name is known to News24, is expected to appear in the Vredendal Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed the arrest of a 56-year-old man for assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.

Billy Claasen of the Rural and Farmworkers' Development Organisation said the "brutal" attack took place on Tuesday night. The farmworker had apparently been on his way home when he was accosted.

The man is understood to have been admitted to Vredendal Hospital for treatment.

Claasen called for a thorough investigation by the authorities "so that these attacks on farm workers can stop".

Lutzville farm murder

"All of us can live and work in a free society free of oppression and attacks on one another. We all need to take hands so that we can get rid of these farmers that don't want to work towards a harmonious agriculture sector," he charged.

The incident comes four months after Lutzville farmer Martin Visser was sentenced to life in jail by the Western Cape High Court sitting in Vredendal after he was found guilty of the premeditated murder of farmworker Adam Pieterse, 33.

Pieterse had been beaten with a spade, dragged with a quad bike and buried behind Visser's father's vineyard in 2015.

His sand-covered body was unearthed three weeks later when a seasonal labourer saw Visser behind the vineyard of his father's farm twice and contacted the police when she took a closer look and noticed flies buzzing around the disturbed earth.

The cause of death could not be confirmed due to the advanced state of decomposition of the corpse.

He was also sentenced to three years for the grievous assault on Kleintjie Moses, who he had stabbed with a broken bottle neck in 2011, and six months for the common assault on Pieterse a month before the murder.

ALSO WATCH DOCUMENTARY | Buried Truth: Unearthing the story of murdered farmworker Adam Pieterse

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