Farm evictions rock E Cape
14 May 2000
EVICTED farmworkers in the Albany
district of the Eastern Cape have claimed farmers are using brute force
to force them off farms and out of jobs.
Their claims, backed up by agricultural researchers and Albany ANC
officials, included the callous treatment of relatives of at least two
farm workers who died in farm accidents.
In one case, it is alleged the wife of a worker was evicted without
benefits only two months after her husband was killed in a farming
An evicted worker interviewed in Grahamstown's Rini township, said his
family was now struggling to make ends meet and was enduring the
discomfort of being crammed into his brother's two-roomed house after
The house was now occupied by four adults and his toddler.
He said he was evicted from the farm after laying a charge of assault
against the farmer, and going to the department of manpower to force
the farmer to give him a UIF card.
Thobile Tatana (32) alleged his landlord Terrence Connellan assaulted
him with fists and kicked him for feeding the pigs and horses at the
Tatana said the problem started when he laid a charge against another
"coloured worker" after he assaulted him and his wife.
When contacted by ECN, Connellan's legal firm Sabata, Loon and
Connellan refused to comment on the matter.
Eastern Cape agricultural research project field worker Xolani Baqwa
said the harrassment and eviction of farm workers was on the increase
in the Eastern Cape. He linked evictions to changing farming
patterns, particularly the move towards game farming.
Albany region ANC deputy secretary Bonisile Nesi said evictions and
maltreatment of farmworkers was rife. - ECN Weekend