"Farm workers are also human beings. Away with racism agenda".
These words were written on a placard placed on a fence outside the magistrate's court in Koppies, Free State, yesterday.
Demonstrators, who put up the placard, were showing their anger with Fanie Hyman, who is on trial for allegedly violating a corpse.
It is alleged that on March 15 Hyman forced a couple to exhume the remains of their one-month-old baby who was buried on his farm.
Hyman drove Maria Mnisi and her partner Phineas Johnson from Koppies to his scrap yard in Pretoria, where he abandoned them with the dead body.
The farmer was allegedly angered by the couples' abrupt departure from his Greenlands farm after they had not received two months' wages.
Mnisi testified that they were forced to exhume the decomposed body of their child after Hyman and Johnson quarrelled.
"After we exhumed the body we opened the coffin and found that it had decomposed," Mnisi said. "We wrapped the coffin in plastic and waited for Hyman at his gate, where he picked us up."
Mnisi said Johnson loaded the coffin on the back of Hyman's vehicle and he drove them to a scrap yard in Pretoria, where he abandoned them.
She said there a quarrel broke out between her man and Hyman over a paper that he allegedly forced Johnson to sign.
"At first Johnson refused to unload the coffin from the vehicle before being paid," Mnisi said. "But he finally unloaded it and put it on a trolley."
The two then took the body to a piece of veld, where they were later arrested. But charges against them were withdrawn.
Hyman's defence advocate Phillipus Venter called Mnisi a liar and said Hyman had not force them to exhume the body and take it to Pretoria.
Outside the court the fuming Johnson said if he hadn't controlled his temper he could have long attacked Hyman in the box.
The case was postponed to July 3.