File picture: Pixabay
File picture: Pixabay

R200 000 damages for worker force-fed faeces by farmers

By Sibongile Mashaba Time of article published Feb 26, 2019

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Cape Town – The family that force-fed their employee two litres of faeces and threw him into a pit has been ordered to pay him R200 000 in damages.

Magistrate Pravina Lazarus, who presided over the case in the Equality Court sitting in Springs on Monday, found that Harry Leicester, his wife, Maria, and son, Chris, stripped Joseph Mona of his human dignity when they force-fed him stools.

“The applicant suffered the lowest form of humiliation. He was treated worse than an animal,” Lazarus said.

They were also ordered to undergo a race-relations programme for three months.

The three, from Endicott, Springs, were charged with crimen injuria after they allegedly called their employee the K-word while they forced him to drink faeces on their farm in December 2017.

This was after Mona failed to switch on the engine of a septic tank.

The trio then threw him in the sewer hole and forced him to drink the faeces.

“The utterances made by each of the respondents are found to be hate speech. Further, such utterances violated the applicant’s constitutional right to human dignity,” Lazarus said.

She said although the respondents had pointed out some contradictions in Mona’s testimony and initial statement to the police, they were immaterial to the case.

She said Mona was not fluent in English and that had led to a language barrier.

Lazarus said that throughout his testimony, Mona had remained “truthful and honest”. She also dismissed the Leicester family’s testimony that Mona fabricated the allegations and that he wanted to extort money from them.

Lazarus ordered that the family issue a written public apology, which had to be published in a local newspaper by March 11.

“The respondents (must) attend a programme on race relations for a period of three months at the SA Human Rights Commission,” Lazarus said.

She said the R200 000 in damages had to be paid over a period of a year.

A criminal case against the family regarding the same matter is pending.

Mona said he wanted the trio to be imprisoned.

“I am happy that the matter in the Equality Court has been finalised, but I am shocked that they were not sent to prison.

“I am not safe and no longer live where I used to reside. I am a target.

“I have not been able to work since the incident. I still have nightmares and I will never work for a white man ever again,” Mona said.

The EFF in the City indicated that it wanted to pursue a civil case and that yesterday’s ruling had paved the way.

In March, last year, the Randburg Magistrate’s Court sentenced convicted racist Vicki Momberg to three years in prison, with one year suspended, after her racist tirade in 2016.

She was found guilty of four counts of crimen injuria on November 3, for hurling racial insults at a black police officer and police call centre operators.

Pretoria News

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