Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Farmer beaten up by SAPS Hartbeesfontein
December 1 2010 - Ottosdal cattle-farmer Willem Grobbelaar, two farm-managers and two workers were released on low bail amounts after they were arrested over a fisticuffs with local squatters related to destruction of farm-fencing and wandering livestock. Grobbelaar was released from hospital only yesterday -- he was hospitalised after he was seriously injured by the arresting police at the Hartbeesfontein police cells after his arrest on Monday November 22, he testified at his bail application.
OTTOSDAL TRUCKED IN COSATU PROTESTERS FARMERS TRIAL DEC 1 2010 The case has of course created a new excuse for Cosatu trade union to truck in ‘impromptu local resident protestors’ who were foot-stomping and yelling hatespeech as usual outside the magistrate’s court yesterday.
Susan Cilliers of Beeld newspaper says arrested were Willem Grobbelaar, 46, farm managers Daniël Dupper (41) and Willie Pienaar (30), and the workers Andries Senatle (25) and Dawid Melamu (24). They are facing ‘attempted murder’ charges after a mutual fight between two squatters on the Grobbelaar farm, Ezekiël and Phillip Letlakane last Monday. The family-members of the accused men hired private security vehicles to transport the accused men safely through the screaming crowd.
Captain Jerry Maboitshega, who investigated the event on the farm, told the court during the bail application that the Letlakanes live on Grobbelaars farm Kareekuil ‘but do not work for him. They are part of a large group of people who lived on the land when Grobbelaar purchased it a few years earlier.’
Their legal counsel Advocate Louis Vertue said the fight erupted between the two groups because the Letlakane-group regularly break down fthe encing adjacent to the highway – and that Grobbelaar feared that his prized bulls – each worth around R31,000 – will be run down while wandering away and onto the highway. Vertue said on the day in question the bulls had wandered off again and Grobbelaar had taken his four co-workers with him to chase the animals back to their camp.
While chasing the bulls the farmer and his workers got into a fisticuffs about the fence-destruction habits of the squatters. Things got out of hand, the court heard: Ezekiël Letlakane was in hospital for a few days after being knocked out and sustaining injuries to his face, head and an arm as did Phillip.
However three of the five accused also sustained injuries – but the injuries sustained by the farmer during and after his arrest were very serious: Pienaar testified that he was assaulted by the SAPS at the Hartbeesfontein police cells – and was released from hospital only yesterday-morning after he was treated for ‘serious injuries’.
State advocate Sello Maema did not oppose bail. Grobbelaar said he would remove his livestock from the farm altogether, because one of the conditions of bail is that the accused men are not allowed to go to the farm nor have any contact with the squatter-group there.
OTTOSDAL FARMER AND WORKERS ACCUSED OF ASSAULT DEC 1 2010 OTTOSDAL COURT