Racist Middelburg farmers should be locked away for good - COSATU

Federation wants court to deny bail and says accused should be removed from society

The racist Middelburg farmers should be removed from society and locked away for good  

16 November 2016

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is calling on the Middelburg Magistrate Court to deny bail to the racists’ farmers, who are accused of forcing a worker into a coffin with a snake for crossing a farmers land. These barbarians need to be locked up and removed from the civilised society. While we find it deplorable that two decades after the 1994 democratic breakthrough, workers are still treated like this in some parts of this country; we are not shocked at all by this incident. . On a daily basis workers are forced to choose between their dignity and their livelihoods

The federation has been saying it all along that vulnerable workers in general, especially domestic and farm workers in particular are still experiencing racial insults and attitudes every day in their workplaces. We have also argued that racism is being perpetuated in our country by the government’s failure to re- structure of the economy. It is the economic power that white people still wield, in this country, that allows them to behave like medieval slave owners and treat black people as subhuman.

We reiterate our position that the best strategy to fight racism is to dry up the swamp that breeds these racists , which is the stranglehold that they still have over the economy. We need to take our land back and make sure that they do not have the monopoly that they currently enjoy. We are also calling for the provincial government to ensure that they launch a civil suit against these farmers and they push for them to compensate this workers that they abused.

This racist behaviour also is an indictment on this country’s political leadership that has failed to transform the economy and the state institutions that have failed to stamp out racism in the workplace. We hope that the Middelburg Magistrate Court will send a clear message to these white racists that racism will not be tolerated in this country.  

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 16 November 2016