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SAHRC worried about the reports of excessive force used by police during farm strikes in the Western Cape,launches an investigation

16 JANUARY 2013

ATTENTION: Editors and Reporters

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) notes with concern the increasing number of reports of excessive use of force by the South African Police Services (SAPS) from the Boland/Winelands area including Barrydale, Robertson, Wolsely, Clanwilliam and De Doorns.

The SAHRC Western Cape Office has received and continues to receive complaints of allegations of human rights abuses against farm workers and rural dwellers including women and children.

The SAHRC calls for an urgent resolution of the wage disputes between the farmers and the farm workers, and appeals to all parties to act within the confines of the law.
The SAHRC is monitoring the protests and has to date received complaints against the SAPS, the farmers and the private security companies.

The complainant allege, among others, police collusion with farmers, excessive use of force, police brutality, unfair labour practices, exploitative living and working conditions, racism and inhumane treatment of farm workers and rural dwellers.

The SAHRC will, where appropriate, refer complaints to those bodies mandated by law and will continue to monitor investigations by other institutions where human rights violations are in question.

The SAHRC will also investigate human rights abuses which fall within its constitutional mandate.


Issued by:
Isaac Mangena
Head: Communications
South African Human Rights Commission

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