Grabouw police are investigating a case of assault after a farmer was seen attacking a man on his property who allegedly stole apples in a video that has since gone viral.
In the video, the farmer is seen repeatedly slapping and punching a man in the face, before shoving him away. The farmer then orders the man to come back, presumably to continue the attack.
The Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation’s executive director, Billy Claasen, said they were angered by the video and decided to lodge a criminal complaint.
“According to (the victim), he was waiting on the side of the road and they grabbed him and assaulted him by a tree on the farm. They said he stole fruit, but there is an electric fence, how would he have got over the fence?”
Claasen said the young man denied stealing from the farm and was left traumatized by the incident.
“In my view, this is totally unacceptable and this was humiliating for the young man. He was assaulted for no reason. We must stop this kind of behaviour and the guy in the video needs to be arrested. He left the man with a swollen face,” he said.
Claasen said the man who initiated the assault was a first-year student.
“He was aware the video was being made, so they were in it to humiliate this guy and to assault him. They wanted to make a joke out of it, it is totally unacceptable. They made it and shared it, they even made it to a group of farmworkers.”
Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said Grabouw detectives were investigating a common assault case after a complaint was laid at the station on April 24.
The South African Human Rights Commission said it would also be investigating the matter.
Commissioner Chris Nissen said they would be visiting Grabouw this week.
“If it is just a criminal matter, the police will be investigating it, but if the man feels that his rights were violated, then we will take on the matter,” said Nissen.
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Source: Cape Times