Police search on for bishop ‘who kept slaves on farm’

2012-03-28 07:59

Eastern Cape police are looking for a church bishop who allegedly owns a farm where three slaves were kept, in allegedly appalling conditions, frequently beaten, and made to work the fields from sunrise to sunset.

Police made this startling discovery at the farm near Stutterheim yesterday after responding to a tip-off, the Daily Dispatch reported.

Four men were arrested at the farm by police who raided the farm, while the three captives, two of whom are mentally ill, were freed from chains.

Police spokesperson Captain Ernest Sigobe this morning said: “He (the bishop) has not yet been arrested, but we are looking for him as part of our investigation.

“We have opened a docket for kidnapping and assault with aggravating circumstances, but these charges could still be amended before they appear in court. We can keep them for 48 hours, while we investigate, before they appear in court,” he said.

The released men were taken to hospital yesterday and will be released on their own recognisance, Sigobe added.

One of them, 18 year-old Duma Mgcete, told the Dispatch he had been kept captive since January 2011 and had often suffered beatings.

It is understood the workers, who received no pay for their work, had been brought to the farm because they had misbehaved.

Foreman at the farm, Sivuyile Nkayi, allegedly said: “Of course we hit them. They are stupid and must work. If they are being silly they get hit.”

He also said the slaves made wire cars and ornaments that the bishop’s church, in Dimbaza location, sold for money.

The three were apparently made to sleep – shackled – in a single mattress, right next to a room that was used for prayers.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/World

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.