Farm labourer pushing for justice after assault

By Max Rambau, CORC

On April 19, 2011, the ISN met with representatives of the Hekpoort Police Station, namely the station commander, the deputy station commander and the investigating officer. The office of the MEC for Safety was also represented by an official.

This meeting followed the general meeting that was held on the 5th February in Hekpoort where the case of Mr. Sam Manganyi was reported to CORC and the ISN.

CORC and ISN took the case to the MEC’s office after the assault charges against the neighbouring farmer and the police.

These incidences had occurred in the following manner:

Mr. Manganyi’s employer of ten years had sold his farm to another farmer, Mr. Robbie Lehane. It appears that the new owner did not want Mr. Manganyi on the farm where his former employer had given him a place to stay and also given him a tractor, combi and ploughs as part of the retrenchment package.

There are two houses (3 roomed and 2 roomed) that Mr. Manganyi had built by himself as a labour tenant.

The new farmer, Mr. Lehane started accusing Manganyi of stealing some farming equipment and had him arrested by the police who also assaulted him. The charges that Manganyi laid against the police and the farmer have not been considered and the case has not progressed.

The investigating officer brought the file of this case but we found out that the charge had been changed from that of assault to common assault. The investigating officer said that he had found the file written as such. It is clear that the police officers who recorded the case must have known that this case was going to affect their colleagues and then changed it to common assault to protect them.

We agreed that in future, Mr. Manganyi would have to go straight to the station commander should he encounter any problems. It was also agreed that the official from the office of the MEC would accompany Mr. Manganyi to court to reopen the case on the 4th May. Also, they would go to the ICD to report the police who had changed the charges from assault to common assault.

Mr. Manganyi and the official from the office of the MEC would go to the Small Claims Court to claim for the damaged goods during the assault on Mr. Manganyi.

Mr. Manganyi was very happy that this case is finally progressing.

This case is now in the hands of the office of the MEC. CORC and ISN will receive reports of how it is progressing.