Flippie Engelbrecht with his mother outside the Ashton Magistrate's Court. File photo: Candice Chaplin

Cape Town -

Amputee Flippie Engelbrecht had an epileptic fit hours before the man accused of brutally beating him in 2008 appeared on new charges of assault in the Ashton Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Wilhelm Treurnicht, manager of the Rietvallei Wine Estate, was up on fresh charges of assault “to do grievous bodily harm”. The charge sheet said he assaulted two farmworkers in 2009 and 2010.

This case was postponed to May 27 but he will appear in court on Wednesday in connection with the assault on Engelbrecht.

Farmworker rights organisation The Freedom Trust general secretary Carina Papenfus said the two farmworkers were shocked with a cattle prod.

“Their physical injuries were severe, their dignity shattered,” she said.

In 2008, Rietvallei Wine Estate owner Johnny Burger and Treurnicht allegedly beat Flippie, then 16, so badly it left him blind.

After the assault, Engelbrecht suffered from epileptic fits. During one fit he fell into a fire, sustaining burns that left him without hands.

Burger committed suicide in September about two months after the pair’s first court appearance. He denied assaulting Engelbrecht.

At their last court appearance Treurnicht and Burger were ambushed by Engelbrecht’s supporters and the police had to use a stun grenade to disperse the crowd.

Engelbrecht had a fit as he was about to leave home to attend court on Wednesday. Papenfus said she thought anxiety had caused it.

Cape Times