Home News Calvinia farmer charged with attempted murder after ‘assault’ of worker

Calvinia farmer charged with attempted murder after ‘assault’ of worker

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The victim ultimately decided to collect his clothes and leave the farm out of fear for his life.

FARMWORKERS’ rights organisations have welcomed the arrest of a farmer who remains in custody, after he allegedly ran over his 22-year-old employee with his bakkie over a wage dispute in Calvinia, Northern Cape.

Calvinia farmer Albertus Steenkamp

Police spokesperson sergeant Timothy Sam confirmed that the 40-year-old suspect, Albertus Steenkamp was arrested on Monday and charged for attempted murder.

It is alleged the incident followed after the farmworker confronted Steenkamp regarding his unpaid salary.

Sam said Steenkamp then allegedly aggressively asked the worker to leave.

“The next day the victim went back to the suspect but he was allegedly threatened with a pole by the suspect.

The victim ultimately decided to collect his clothes and leave the farm out of fear for his life. The suspect then followed the victim with his vehicle and allegedly ran him over.

“The 40- year-old suspect was arrested on Monday March 27, 2023, and charged for attempted murder. He will appear in the Calvinia Magistrates’ Court for a formal bail hearing soon.

The police investigations are continuing,” he said.

Director of the Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation, Billy Claassen said Steenkamp was known for his “rudeness and aggressive behaviour” towards his workers.

“We welcome the arrest of a farmer in the rural town of Calvinia in the Northern Cape. There are also allegations that this farmer is known for assaulting workers and nothing has ever happened to him.

“He is known for his rudeness and aggressive behaviour towards his workers,“ he said.

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development spokesperson, Reggie Ngcobo said they condemn the incident.

“We call for the law to take its course.

“We also call on farm workers and farmers to always find amicable ways of resolving whatever disputes that arise at the workplace. Farmers and farm workers need each other at all times,” Ngcobo said.

President of the Black Association of the Agriculture Sector (Bawsi), Nosey Pieterse said he was not surprised by the incident.

“This is not a new phenomenon. They assault us. I must commend the police of Calvinia for holding him in the cells because that does not happen in the Western Cape,” said Pieterse.

Cape Times

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