Justice system ‘fails to protect’

2008-07-01 00:00

A rural human rights organisation has criticised the justice system for failing to protect a family who were allegedly attacked by a farmer in Rietvlei near Karkloof.

This follows the recent acquittal on assault of a 19-year-old woman. A local farmer laid the charges.

Less than two weeks after the woman was acquitted, another encounter between the farmer and the family occurred and the family are facing new charges.

It is alleged that the woman and her mother were on their way home on Monday when the farmer started insulting them.

“An altercation ensued, which led to the farmer physically attacking them. The women tried to defend themselves, but could not stand against the farmer. They cried for help. Neighbours rushed to the scene and intervened …” said Rural Network Response spokesman Musa Zondi.

It is alleged that the farmer went to his house and came back with a gun and shots were fired.

Zondi said the fights emanate from a land claim that the Masikane family has issued.

According to Zondi, the family has a protection order against the farmer.

Zondi said the Masikane family called police after the fight. “When the police arrived, they only went to the farmer’s house to talk to him, but ignored the family.”

Yesterday morning the women went to hospital where they received treatment. “While they were in hospital, police arrived at their house and arrested two men who were at home.”

Police spokeswoman Joey Jeevan confirmed that a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm was opened against the teenager, her mother and two relatives. “Two men aged 23 and 28 were arrested and will appear at the Greytown magistrate court today,” she said.

sandilez@witness.co.za

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