Farmer arrested for ramming home with tractor
A dairy farmer embroiled in a labour dispute is facing a string of charges after repeatedly ramming a tractor into a home – seriously injuring a former employee.
The farmer‚ from the coastal town of Mossel Bay on the Garden Route‚ was arrested by police on Sunday.
The dispute appears to have started in December 2017 when a farm worker and his wife were fired and subsequently lodged an unfair dismissal case against the farmer at the CCMA.
Elvin Booysen‚ chairman of a local farm committee in the area‚ said the couple were confronted by the farmer while fetching wood. “While that (CCMA) case was ongoing they continued to live on the farm. The river is on the border of the farm …. The farmer came and confronted them. He told them it was his river and they cannot remove the wood‚” said Booysen.
The couple were allegedly assaulted during the confrontation on February 25. “Their house is situated next to a gravel road. When they heard the tractor approaching they assumed it was driving along the road.
“The farmer then drove right through the house. He threatened to kill them. They have been working for the farmer for over a year‚” said Booysen.
The couple‚ whom he said were in shock after the incident‚ had been receiving food donations from the local community.
Southern Cape police spokesman Malcom Pojie said a case of assault was opened after the incident.
“The suspect allegedly drove into the home of the victim multiple times with a tractor. The victim sustained multiple injuries and a case of assault was initially opened‚” said Pojie.
“The suspect was arrested on March 3 and will appear in court … on charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm‚ malicious damage to property‚ common assault‚ illegal possession of firearms and attempted murder. Police discovered four firearms in his possession.”