Man in court for child labour

2013-03-01 14:36

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Johannesburg - A businessman accused of employing under-aged children will appear in court on Monday, the labour department said on Friday. Spokesperson Wisane Mavasa, said Enyun Zhuang, aged 25, of Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape, was arrested early last month.

He appeared in the Zastron Magistrate's Court and was released on R2 000 bail. His case was postponed to 4 March.

She said Zhuang was caught with seven boys, aged between nine and 13 years, working as packers at his warehouse in Zastron.

The children were removed from his premises and handed over to the social development department in the Eastern Cape for further care.

It was alleged Zhuang had employed the children to work for him loading stock into trucks at a Sterkspruit warehouse.

The children were made to travel in these trucks and deliver the goods in surrounding towns, such as Zastron and Aliwal North, in the middle of the night.

"It is claimed that the children, some whose service dates back to three years ago, have worked for the employer without getting any remuneration.

Instead, the children were offered a 2L Tweeza fizzy drink and a packet of biscuits after every shift."

Mavasa said that in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), it was a criminal offence to employ any child under 15-years-of-age; any child to do work inappropriate for their age, or that could place them at risk.

"If convicted, the employer may be sentenced to a fine or imprisonment of three years," she said.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  child abuse

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