The Cape winelands municipality will lay a charge of littering against a messenger of the court for throwing an evicted family's belongings into a roadside ditch this week.
Winelands mayor Clarence Johnson said he was laying the charge to highlight the lack of dignity farm- workers had to deal with, even if the eviction was legal.
"If we had known before about the eviction, we could have made arrangements for some temporary shelter and other provisions," Johnson said.
He said the family probably spent the night outside, in a mountainous area, capped with snow, with temperatures dropping below freezing point.
Andries Plaat, Sanna Kok and their children were evicted on Wednesday from a house they occupied on a farm near Worcester.
The owner, who obtained the eviction order, was on holiday in Namibia. The family was in town when the messenger forced his way into their home.
Johnson said the messenger violated the court order by dumping the family's possessions in a roadside ditch, which is municipal property, without the municipality's permission.
"It might sound technical or even petty, but if the messenger had to comply with the court's eviction order, he had to have our permission to dump the couple's belonging there." - Sapa