A workers' union has called for truth-commission type hearings to expose what it says is the "devastating situation" of farmworkers in the country.
The Food and Allied Workers' Union (Fawu) made the call yesterday following the Supreme Court of Appeal's overturning last week of the "lion murder" conviction of Mark Scott-Crossley.
Fawu said the ruling was a miscarriage of justice, and that it was increasingly evident that in cases where farm workers were murdered and tortured, the perpetrators got off lightly.
"We call for a process similar to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to unearth the devastating situation of farm workers. Maybe such a process would start to address the endless murders and other atrocities committed against defenceless victims on farms," Fawu said.
In a statement, Cosatu said justice had been "ill-served" by the appeal court's decision.
"Scott-Crossley is still guilty of a very serious and gruesome offence, which deserves a much more severe sentence than the five years he has now been given," the Cosatu statement said.
Cosatu was also "concerned that the appeal judges had criticised the trial judge for his comments that the relationship between farm workers and their employers was characterised by a "domineering" and "overbearing" attitude on the part of the master". - Sapa