Bergville farmer charged with assaulting woman

2011-08-31 00:00

CONTROVERSIAL Bergville farmer Lester Vicus appeared in court yesterday on charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The police said yesterday that Vicus, who is apparently a bean farmer, saw a local woman carrying a sack of beans near his farm.

He allegedly suspected she had stolen the beans from his farm and assaulted her.

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said Vicus also dragged her to a nearby river.

He said it was not clear what the farmer dragged her with or why he was dragging her towards the river.

He said the woman sustained injuries and bruises to her body.

Vicus appeared in court for the second time yesterday and will appear again on the October 3.

A few years ago Vicus was embroiled in a bitter dispute with communities around his farm in Bergville. He allegedly dug a trench around the homes of his labour tenants in which a five-year-old child, Mzanywa Mazibuko, reportedly fell in and died.

The child had tried to jump over the trench to fetch livestock that was grazing in the vicinity. The incident occurred six weeks after a court interdict was granted to have him close the trenches.

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