Assault charge laid against farmer

Riot Hlatshwayo

The Mpumalanga man who was dragged and kicked by a cow has laid a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm against his employer.

July Mathumbu, 43, his face almost deformed by the swelling, was discharged from the Tintswalo Hospital near Acornhoek on Saturday. He lives in Songeni village near Thulamahashe.

"I look terrible. I am in pain all over my body. My face is deformed as a result of the cow's kicks. I have seen myself in the mirror. It is not good," he said.

Mathumbu was dragged and kicked by a cow after his employer allegedly tied him to the animal last Wednesday. His employer accused him of spreading dangerous rumours about him.

Mathumbu has lost teeth because of the kicks. His employer, Andrew Dzambukeri, continued to deny the incident when Sowetan visited him on Saturday.

He maintained that Mathumbu lost his teeth in a fight with another man.

Mathumbu claimed that Dzambukeri whipped him with a sjambok before tying him to the cow. He also tied his legs, arms and neck to the cows' horns with a rope.

Mathumbu's mother Flora Mathumbu said at the weekend that the incident had shocked her.

"I was so shocked that a respected man like Dzambukeri could do this," she said.

Dzambukeri said he had opened a charge of crimen injuria against Mathumbu.

"He has insulted me," he said.

Dzambukeri said the cow Mathumbu claimed kicked him was very tame and used to people.

"It is not an aggressive cow," he said, touching the animals's horns.

Dzambukeri, however, could not explain how Mathumbu sustained bruises all over his body. He also could not explain how Mathumbu's face could swell so much if he was only involved in a fist fight.

"Look, this cow cannot kick anyone. Look, I am playing with its hind legs but it is not kicking me," said Dzambukeri, touching the cow's hind legs.

Mhala police spokesman Robert Makhubele in Thulamahashi confirmed that Mathumbu had opened a case against Dzambukeri.