'drop the charges'

The South African Human Rights Commission wants the state to drop charges of digging up a corpse laid against a couple who exhumed the body of their child on a Free State farm.

The South African Human Rights Commission wants the state to drop charges of digging up a corpse laid against a couple who exhumed the body of their child on a Free State farm.

"The SAHRC is concerned about allegations of ongoing human rights violations (on) the farms...," it said yesterday.

The owner of the farm reportedly ordered the couple to dig up the body of their child after they resigned, then drove them 300km to Pretoria where he dumped them.

The SAHRC said it would also inform the national police commissioner, the Gauteng and the Free State provincial police commissioners that it would monitor the case.

It had already spoken to the mayor in the area, who had undertaken to help the couple receive professional counselling.

"The mayor has also undertaken to assist them to register the death of their child with the Department of Home Affairs and to assist them to acquire proper exhumation, relocation and reburial papers. The remains will then be buried at the couple's place (of) choice," the SAHRC said.

The commission said it would look into the possibility of instituting civil proceedings against the farmer and the minister of safety and security for the couple's wrongful arrest when they tried to report the crime at Soshanguve police station.

"In line with its constitutional mandate of investigating human rights violations in order to secure redress, last year the commission held a second public hearing into human rights violations at farming communities and is expected to release its recommendations report soon," it said. - Sapa

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