Farmers use slaves

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Farmers, police and Home Affairs officials in Mpumalanga are seemingly collaborating in a scheme to use Mozambicans for free labour before deporting them.

This week Sowetan received a tip-off that a group of Mozambicans who had been working on a farm were behind bars in the Nelspruit Police Station waiting for home affairs officials to come and collect and deport them.

There was chaos at the police station as the Mozambicans demanded that the farmer they'd worked for pay them before they were deported.

Police and Home Affairs officials sneaked the Mozambicans out through a back door apparently after realising that a Sowetan photographer was present.

A Nelspruit home affairs official identified only as JP du Plessis refused to speak to us.

Later a superintendent Mtsholi Bhembe said: "We suspect there is a big problem that must be addressed internally before the media can be informed."