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Cape Town - Police are investigating additional criminal cases against the late Rietvallei Wine Estate owner Johnny Burger, his manager, Wilhelm Treurnicht and previous foreman Dawid Lewis, police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said on Tuesday.
“The SAPS are currently investigating three other criminal cases against the mentioned persons - two charges of assault and one of sexual assault,” he said.
Treurnicht, who was Burger’s farm manager at the time of the alleged assault in January 2008, is set to appear in the Ashton Regional Court on Friday on charges of assault against Flippie Engelbrecht and his father, Flip Engelbrecht.
Burger, 62, Rietvallei’s owner, committed suicide last Tuesday.
In a press release, he had called the charges against him “untested and false”, referring to Carina Papenfus, secretary of the farmworkers rights group The Freedom Trust as a “mischief-maker with a political motive”.
David Lewis, Rietvallei’s foreman at the time of the alleged assault, is set to appear as a witness for the State in the case against Treurnicht.
The Freedom Trust said on Tuesday that it would present four more cases of farmworker abuse by farmers to the media on Friday in Ashton.
Papenfus, who helped re-open the assault case against Burger and Treurnicht in January, said a “hornets’ nest of abuse” would be unveiled on Friday.
She declined to give details, citing farmworkers’ safety.
She said the farmworkers would “speak directly to the media” about their abuse so there could be no claims the trust had influenced them.
This follows a Cape Times report last Friday that raised questions about how 18-year-old Flippie Engelbrecht went blind and when he was injured.
In response to the article, ANC Western Cape chairman Marius Fransman accused “the old establishment” of trying to discredit The Freedom Trust and Papenfus through the media.