Picture: Facebook

Cape Town – Western Cape ANC leaders have expressed their shock and dismay at a brutal attack on a security officer at a wine farm in the Boland.

They have vowed to probe future attacks.

According to social media posts shared widely, a farmer reportedly assaulted a local 21-year-old security officer at his farm between Klapmuts and Paarl on Thursday, December 24, 2017.

The farm is owned by Eenzaamheid Wines.

According to an eyewitness, the farmer tied the young security guard to a pole and assaulted him with a heavy chain. The motive has not been confirmed, but rumours are that the assault stems from a labour issue.

“It is painful to see such ongoing arrogance and shocking human rights abuses by this particular sector of beneficiaries of apartheid, many of whom still live on disputed land. It is very hard not to assume that this was an act of hate crime and racism, as no person, unless blinded by prejudice, could do this another person,” ANC Western Cape provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said.

“When white farm owners or their families behave in such a shocking manor it makes us and our people very angry,” he added.

Western Cape police have confirmed that the circumstances surrounding an attempted murder were being investigated after a 21-year-old male was assaulted.

Jacobs said they would set up a provincial task team to support workers on farms, in light of this and numerous other incidents.

“We will lodge a complaint with the human rights commission, based on the clear human rights violations committed. We will seek the inclusion of hate crime as one of the charges, will assist the victim in obtaining legal services to ensure he has all legal options, including the suing the farm owners and their company,” Jacobs said.

“While we note the statement by Eenzaamheid Wines, we don’t accept it as we are familiar with a different story. We have been informed that the assault happened when a security guard was accused of lying by the family owner’s ‘family member’ about a suspicious incident he had reported while working, indicating that he was involved and part of the farm management on the day,” he claimed.

Jacobs said they would engage Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and request special attention towards racism and hate crimes on farms.

“Finally we will either engage Eenzaamheid Wines or protest outside them, depending on the advice of the victim and the support the farm provides the victim. This arrogant racism and the shocking human rights violations will not be tolerated any longer, certainly not in South Africa and certainly not by the ANC.

Janno Briers-Louw, managing director of Eenzaamheid Wines, said: “We are aware of the serious allegations against a family member who has never been employed by Eenzaamheid Wines and has absolutely no link to the Eenzaamheid wine brand at all. Eenzaamheid Wines strongly condemns the alleged offences and distance ourselves from such behaviour. At this stage we cannot comment in more detail.”

jason.felix@inl.co.za