It has emerged that the farmer has assault cases going back as far as 2011.
A LUTZVILLE farm owner charged with the murder of seasonal worker Adam Pieterse has assault cases of other farmworkers going as far back as 2011, according to the State.
This emerged when Martin Visser’s murder trial began at the Western Cape High Court sitting in Vredenburg last week.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the presiding judge conducted an inspection at the site of the alleged murder
Visser faces six charges, including four of assault, murder and assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm.
He is accused of murdering Pieterse, 32, and burying him in a shallow grave in 2015. The decomposing remains were found on a neighbouring farm.
Visser allegedly also assaulted a woman by stabbing her with a broken bottle in December 2011, and assaulted a couple who lived on his farm in November 2012, before assaulting Pieterse.
Visser, owner of Dassiehoek farm in the Lutzville district, operated a shop from his house that had often been the genesis of his alleged arguments with workers, according to the State.
The State alleges that Visser assaulted Pieterse on January 5, 2015, striking him with his fists for coming at an “inconvenient time”. Pieterse fled into nearby vineyards. He laid a complaint against Visser the next day.
When the two ran into each in February 2015, Visser allegedly attacked Pieterse for reporting him to the police.
According to the court papers, Visser also attacked Pieterse with a spade while he was preparing food with friends at home.
The assault led to the death of Pieterse, and Visser allegedly instructed Pieterse’s friends to help him dispose of the body.
Pieterse’s friend Lea Cloete reported him missing. She visited Pieterse’s home and allegedly found “drag marks” and blood.
His body was found in a grave on the De Hoek farm in the Lutzville district on March 18, 2015.
Nosey Pieterse, president of the Black Association of the Wine and Spirit Industry, said the court should pursue the matter “to the full extent of the law”.