South Africa

South Africa: farm worker activists given harsh sentences

barrydale

Activists who fight for living wages and rights of farm workers are given harsh sentences in the Barrydale court.

It’s a shame!

Activists who fight for living wages and rights of farm workers are given harsh sentences in the Barrydale court. Our courts punish us if we stand up against injustices directed at poor farm workers.

This is the anniversary of the farm worker’s historic rebellion that rocked the Winelands in from September 2012 to February 2013. Thousands of ordinary farm workers came out on strike and mobilised around the demand for R150 (£10) a day for them – a living wage.

Henry Michaels, one of the leaders of Mawubuye Land Rights Forum and the activists from Barrydale joined the mobilisation and in January 2013 they were arrested and jailed for over one month before being released on bail. Their case is of one of many other cases and that dragged on in the rural courts for months costing poor farm workers lots of daily earnings and very high travel costs.

Yesterday Magistrate Oosthuizen in the Barrydale Court sentenced Henry for public violence and obstruction to police to a R10,000 / 12 months imprisonment, De Wet R3000, / 3 months imprisonment, Pieterse: R3000 / 3 months imprisonment whilst the two others were sentenced to 3 years imprisonment in terms of Section 276(1)(i) of the Criminal Pr,ocesdure Act.

Today the situation on the farms remain bleak and abuses continue yet this type of injustice goes on.

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