Exploited farmworker Kleinboy Dinake laid to rest

The North West farmer who failed to pay Mokgwabone Kleinboy Dinake a severance package after he had worked for his family for 69 years was a no-show at the old man's funeral at the weekend.

Dinake was buried on Saturday at GaMogopa in Ventersburg. His former boss Boet Terre'Blanche's absenteeism resulted in mourners referring to him as "the enemy" who never cared about the well-being of Dinake and his family.

Local councilor Dathini Gwili said when the apartheid government ceased to exist there was hope that black people would no longer be oppressed at work merely due to the colour of their skin.

"While some black people's lives have become better, other people continue to suffer due to people that we refer to as the enemy. Those people want us to live the oppressed life of Mr Dinake," said Gwili.

"Mr Dinake started working for the enemy when he was 15 years and, if things were going well in our country, he should be running his own thriving farm by now. However, Mr Dinake died while living in abject poverty while the enemy is rolling in wealth."

Dinake, who died aged 84 on June 26, went on retirement in October after labouring at the Terre'Blanche's farm in Nooitgedacht, North West since 1949.

Terre'Blanche inherited the livestock and crop farm from his father Andries, who died in 1999. He continued the slave wages of his father, paying Dinake R300 a month. The legislated minimum wage for farm workers is R3169.

Thapelo Mosothwane, an administrator at the Ventersdorp parliamentary constituency office, said he had met Dinake when he came to complain about not being paid his pension after he retired.

"Upon investigating we discovered that Mr Dinake was not registered as a permanent employee, which meant he was a temporary worker who laboured at the farm for 69 years.

"I would like to advise people that when they get a job they should check with the labour department whether they are registered as permanent employees."

Dinake's family also accused Terre'Blanche of not living up to his promise of contributing a cow towards funeral costs. His daughter Stokkie said they called Boet on Tuesday last week to notify him about their father's death and requested him to send firewood for the funeral service.

"On Thursday Boet called my uncle and promised that he will send a cow the following day. On Friday evening we called him but he did not pick up his phone," said Stokkie, adding that he did send the firewood either.

When Sowetan called Boet yesterday his phone was on voicemail. He did not respond to a text message.

Two weeks ago the department of labour found Boet to have breached the law by not paying Dinake a severance package. It slapped him with a compliance order to pay Dinake over R50000.