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SAHRC to probe worker’s tragic death after being driven over by farm truck

- Deceased Ronaldo Ricardo Keyster who died after being driven over by a truck on the farm where he was working. Pictures: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)

- Deceased Ronaldo Ricardo Keyster who died after being driven over by a truck on the farm where he was working. Pictures: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Oct 30, 2021

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Cape Town - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) together with the Department of Labour and the police are keeping a close watch on the investigation into the death of farm worker, Ronaldo Keyster.

On Saturday, SAHRC commissioner Chris Nissen visited the family of Keyster, 22, an Atlantis dad of a seven-month-old baby, who died at a farm he worked at.

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Nissen said he insisted that high-ranking police at Darling police station ensure that all statements were taken from witnesses who had been present on the day of the fatal accident on October 7.

The Department of Labour has also confirmed they would be present at Keyster’s workplace, the Klipfontein Farm in Darling owned by AF Kirsten, to carry out a full investigation on Friday.

This was after Kirsten's office confirmed with the Department of Labour that they had not notified their offices of the incident and had only informed the police.

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Police have confirmed they were awaiting the post-mortem and for the investigation to be completed before a decision could be made by the senior state prosecutor.

Last week the Weekend Argus reported on Keyster’s death, which was witnessed by his cousin, Randall Keyster, who detailed how they together with 16 others had been on a truck driven by a staff member, and that Keyster had fallen half-way off the truck and was holding onto the railing while he (Randall) banged on the truck several times to alert the driver to stop.

He claimed after the truck hit a bump in the road, Keyster fell down, landing underneath the truck and was driven over.

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Keyster died at the scene.

The family claimed they were not given any paperwork regarding workmen’s compensation or UIF benefits for death.

Nissen said he would following the case very closely to see that protocols were followed.

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“I went to the family’s home and saw the conditions they were living in.

“I went to the police station and I spoke to the captain and insisted that additional statements be taken, that of the cousin who had witnessed the incident. I am going to watch this case and visit the family again,” he said.

The alarm was raised by ward councillor, Barbara Rass, who also called on the SAHRC to get on board with cases involving farm workers.

“I want to commend the commissioner, reverend Nissen, for the efforts he has made,” she said.

“It is just sad that it took authorities to get involved like your government department for things to happen, otherwise this would just have become another cold case,” she said.

Police spokesperson, Captain FC Van Wyk confirmed the investigation was under way and there were no new developments to report.

“The post-mortem results are still outstanding. When the investigation is completed the case docket will be presented to the senior public prosecutor for a decision,” he said.

Spokesperson for the Department of Labour, Mapula Tloubatla, confirmed that Kirsten had not reported the incident to their offices and that their teams would visit the farm on Friday for an investigation.

David Esau the provincial chief inspector for the Department of Labour added it was too premature to state anything at this stage until they had carried out their investigation.

Weekend Argus made several attempts to reach Kirsten for comment but he did not respond.

Weekend Argus

Related Topics:

Human Rights

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