PA Western Cape leader faces assault charge for slapping speaker

A screenshot of the assault.

A screenshot of the assault.

Published Jan 4, 2024

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Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader in the Western Cape, Joseph Farmer, could land in hot water after he assaulted Cederberg municipality speaker Dr John Hayes during a confrontation captured on video.

In the video, posted by Hayes, Farmer is seen slapping Hayes before bystanders appear to attempt to break up the confrontation which allegedly took place outside a local sports complex in Lambert’s Bay on Tuesday.

Cederberg mayor Ruben Richards said Hayes was conducting an inspection of a municipal facility which was illegally occupied and where the tenants were alleged to be selling alcohol without proper authorisation, when he was physically assaulted on the premises.

Richards said Council was currently in recess but due process would be followed regarding the alleged assault.

Police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi said the matter was under investigation after Farmer lodged a complaint.

“According to reports, the complainant in the matter, a 47- year-old man, arrived at a local sports complex in Lambert’s Bay on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, at around 8.30pm. Upon his arrival he was confronted by a man who pushed him. The victim sustained no visible injuries as a result of the altercation.

Lambert’s Bay police registered a case of assault common for further investigation,” said Swartbooi.

Farmer, who admitted to smacking Hayes, alleged his actions were in response to Hayes who he said “pressed against” a dialysis catheter attached to his chest.

“Before the video started recording, Hayes had said a lot of stuff to me as well before he pushed against the dialysis catheter. He is a doctor and knows exactly the dangers of what could have happened if anything happened to that catheter, I could have bled to death.

“I immediately went to the police after the incident to report the incident and I never denied that I smacked him because I did do it in retaliation.

Hayes had damaged my brother’s vehicle which was parked at the golf club and my nephew, who was driving my brother’s car, called me to inform me of what happened and that is how I ended up at the golf club,” said Farmer.

In a post on social media, Hayes said he would post the brief video of the incident himself “om halwe stories te verhoed (to avoid inaccurate information)”.

“Ek is eers deur n lafaard gestamp met sy pa se Fortuner, mis geslaan en deur sy twee pelle tot orde geroep (I was knocked by a coward with his father’s Fortuner, missed a hit and called to order by his two friends).

“Weer met die wit fortuner my gestamp dat sy grill breek, omdat hy nie vir die polisie wou wag nie (Again I was knocked with the Fortuner that the grill broke because he refused to wait for the police)... Die langarm van die gereg moet een of ander tyd sy hande uit sy sakke haal (the long arm of justice must some or other time remove its hands from its pockets),” Hayes said.

When contacted on Wednesday, Hayes declined to comment further and said he was busy reporting the incident to the police.

Richards said Hayes acted within his rights and performed his duty without fear, favour or prejudice, when he carried out his oversight function as a ward councillor.

“It remains the right and duty of a councillor to inspect any municipal building/facility especially when it is claimed that such premises have licences to operate a business.

“When it comes to matters involving liquor licences, the law requires ward councillors to be extra vigilant. Hayes’s site visit verified that no liquor licence was displayed as required by law.

“It was further established that the said licence was defective. In the process, Dr Hayes almost lost his life, narrowly avoiding being run over on site by a motor vehicle driven by a municipal employee and was thereafter also assaulted by fellow councillor Joseph Farmer.

“I can confirm that Dr Hayes has made a statement to the SAPS Lambert’s Bay.”

DA constituency head for Cederberg municipality, Andricus van der Westhuizen, urged the police to take swift action.

“This is the latest saga in a long process of councillor Hayes as speaker unmasking long-lasting and deep-rooted corruption.

“This involves various municipal staff members and opposition councillors in Cederberg municipality,” said Van der Westhuizen.

Enquiries to the PA leadership were not answered by deadline on Wednesday.

EFF spokesperson Wandile Kasibe said: “EFF Western Cape condemns the physical assault in the strongest possible terms. We call for the assailant to face the long arm of the law as there is no one who has the right to assault another person.”

Cape Times

Related Topics:

Patriotic AllianceSAPS