Herded out like animals

Another day and another long-serving farmworker has been thrown out of a place he had also regarded as home.

Not that the accommodation the farmer gave the dedicated Molungu Moalodi, now 69, was anything to write home about. Far from it, not much better than the millions of shacks that litter the South African landscape.

And after herding the farmer's cattle for nearly 50 years, Moalodi and his wife were told their services at the farm were no longer needed: his severance package R1000 and a packet of tobacco.

More shocking is the fact that we have a law that is supposed to protect farmworkers against this type of apartheid-age abuse - the Security of Tenure Act.

This blatant transgression of our laws and extension of slave labour does not rattle some farmers one bit.

Many still do it with impunity day in and day out.

Such treatment of blacks should have ended the day Nelson Mandela was voted president of this country in 1994.

Many other struggle heroes - Oliver Tambo, Steve Biko, Robert Sobukwe among others - must be turning in their graves.

For such trampling of human dignity ala-Moalodi makes a mockery of our democratic government and all its policies.

Reminds us of Alan Paton's epic novel: Cry the Beloved Country.