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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU North West media statement on the poisoning of a farm worker

07 Dec 2005

The Congress of South African Trade Unions condemns the alleged poisoning of a farm worker by a farmer. The worker, John Sithole, has been badly harmed after being sprayed with a pesticide. He was admitted to General Delarey Hospital with major injuries an d later transferred to Thusong Hospital where he is expected to undergo an operation.

He was working for a poultry farmer, Mr Nell, at Graslaagte in Nuweplaas farm. Mr Nell is also the shareholder at Hinwell Chicken, which employs over 300 workers.

COSATU views this matter as a very serious office and demand that the police investigate the matter, bring the alleged culprit to court and prosecute him.

During the COSATU recruitment programme, it was highlighted that farm workers are afraid to join trade unions because their lives will be in danger. Even in this case the farm worker is afraid to lay charges because he fears being intimidated by the farmer .

Secondly COSATU condemns the farm worker who allegedly raped a 13-month old baby in Wolmaranstad and demands that the police should act immediately and arrests the accused. If convicted, he should be sentenced for life.

We call upon the departments of health, social services, safety and security and labour, to call a joint meeting to discuss the protection of farm workers and farm communities.

For more information, please contact Solly Phetoe, COSATU NW Provincial Secretary, on 082 418 0750.

The investigating officer is Mr Mokoka, on 072 532 4488.

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