Abuse on farms under spotlight

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The National Prosecuting Authority is putting the spotlight on cases of harassment of farm dwellers in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

This follows widespread complaints that cases of assault and abuse against white farmers were being swept under the carpet.

Farm dwellers in areas like Vryheid, Utrecht, Dannhauser and Newcastle have complained that serious charges against white farmers do not see the light of day in court.

It is alleged the police, the justice system and white farmers were in collusion in the abuse of black farm workers.

A number of farm workers have been killed in these areas and cases against white farmers, dating back to 1998, had been thrown out of court.

Panyaza Lesufi, spokesman for the NPA, said the allegations were viewed seriously.

"We are deeply concerned about these allegations. We are on top of these issues.

"We are currently gathering information on such matters," he said.

Lesufi said the NPA could not turn a blind eye to this matter because it affected the whole justice system and safety of communities at large.

"We will act accordingly against those tampering with the smooth running of the justice system," he said.