An act of solidarity

In a dramatic show of solidarity, Richards Bay residents were lining up to donate blood for attacked Hluhluwe farmer P J Hassard after his liver was badly injured. Doctors issued an urgent call for A-neg or O-neg blood after he would not stop bleeding. Many prayers are also being said for his survival, residents are reporting.

An act of solidarity


Peter-John Hassard shot, sustains liver-damage, farm attack Hluhluwe 5 black male gunmen

Hluhluwe, KZN – Peter-John Hassard, a young farmer of Silvasands Safaris near Khuhluwe, KZN – who is a son of ex-KZN rugby union president Peter Hassard – was
attacked on Tuesday morning May 20 2013 on his farm and shot.

He survived and fought back against the five black male attackers, reports a family friend.

Five black gunmen had held the workers on the farm at gunpoint – and PJ was attacked by the gunmen when he went to fetch the workers in his farm-vehicle.

They also shot him once through his body and surgery later showed that the bullet had damaged his liver – however he was still able to resist and fought back – managing to take away one of their firearms.

The thugs then fled.

The young farmer then drove himself to a doctor despite his injury and upon arrival there was taken to a Richards Bay Hospital for treatment.

His sister andra Hassard-Trethewey said her brother is in stable condition.

She wrote on Facebook: “PJ is out of theatre: his liver was damaged. Please keep him in your prayers he needs it.’

The local farming community have mounted a search party with the SAPS



Farmers urged to nullify disciplinary action against workers

The leadership of trade union, the Food and Allied Workers’ Union (Fawu) has visited the farming towns of Ceres in the Western Cape to address workers’ concerns following their recent strike action. Fawu has also called on farmers to allow their workers to return to work and to nullify any disciplinary action against them.

Farmers urged to nullify disciplinary action against workers

General secretary Katishi Masemola says, “Our members were happy to see us there and the ANC co-organised this meeting. We hope that farm owners will basically co-operate with us to try and turn a new page in the interest of the sector.”

Meanwhile, acting ANC Youth League President Ronald Lamola says farmworkers should not retreat in their fight for a daily minimum wage of R150.

He was speaking at an ANC gathering in Prince Alfred’s Hamlet in the Boland yesterday.

The event was aimed at rallying support for the party ahead of a by-election on Wednesday in the Witzenberg municipality. The farmworkers’ strike has been called off for now.

Lamola says farmworkers should also fight to have dividend shares from profits made on farms.

“The ANC Youth League supports the strike of farmworkers for R150, but we also demand you must also want shares in those farms. You must want share schemes, it must not only end at R150, but there must be an employee subsidy – an employee dividend scheme that assists you as farmworkers.”

Farmers urged to nullify disciplinary action against workers

Further violence in South Africa

This week as the South African Department of Labour announced a series of public hearings across the Western Cape in a review of farm workers’ minimum wages, there has been further unrest in South Africa, this a continuation of the worker’s strikes which took place at the end of last year.

Last night around 2:30 pm the Fruit2U warehouse form the Le Roux Group was set on fire. During a visit this morning it was clear that the warehouse, which currently is packing stone fruit and a number of cold rooms was destroyed.

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According to information from the Le Roux Group there is a suspicion of arson, but they could not and would not say much pending the investigation of the police.

Due to a rapid intervention of personnel and the fire service part of the cooling facilities, including the cooling tunnels and the office area were saved. There is smoke damage and, at the time of writing it was still not clear how much of the fruit stored in cold rooms was affected.

A spokesman from Le Roux confirmed further that they immediately looked for alternative packaging options and cooling. These have already been found, thus further damage to the fruit, which is currently being harvested, should be limited.

An initial estimate of the damage has yet to be made, but it is clear it will enter into millions of Rand.

Although occurrences like this are extremely bad, it must be stressed that these incidents are isolated. Jacques du Preez from Hortgro, stressed that the strikes and attacks are limited to the Western Cape region, and 95% of fruit harvest and exports are functioning as normal. “The strikes are being initiated mostly by seasonal workers who are not from the area and people who are not even usually employed in the fruit industry. Farm workers who are happy with their wage and want to work are also severely intimidated by these “strikers”.”

This is backed up by David Harris from David Harris Engineering Systems, who does business with fruit farms throughout South Africa, “These strikers are not all farm workers as most of the farm workers are happy and working as much as they can, but the problems are that they are intimidated by the strikers brought in by the Anc government and unions.”

In the area near De Doorns where most of the disruption is taking place, there are varying reports of police clashing with groups of strikers. Some say it has been necessary for the N1 highway, the main artery of the country between Johannesburg and Cape Town, to frequently close to all traffic.

By Nichola Watson 17 January 2013

Further violence in South Africa

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