Different speakers at the funeral of the two Coka brothers at Pampoenkraal farm in Mkhondo, Mpumalanga, have called on government to do something about the farm attacks in the area.
The two deceased Amos and Zenzele Coka were allegedly shot and killed by farm owners, last week Friday. They were part of a group of farm dwellers who went to seek employment as they were seasonal farmworkers.
Members of different political parties, organisations representing farmworkers and dwellers came out in numbers to pay their last respect to the two Coka siblings. In one voice, they pleaded with government to come up with measures to end the farm attacks.
They allege that some farm owners in the area are harassing and attacking farm dwellers.
It is reported that on their way back they realised that one of them was left on the farm. Upon return to the farm, they found that he was being assaulted.
A scuffle ensued and the two were shot and killed on the scene.
Family spokesperson Zakhele Coka says the incident has left them devastated.
“We are heartbroken, especially now that they are here at home. Granny is not coping at all that she has seen them. We are saying the suspects must not get bail and the one from this area must never set his foot again here.“
The community says the attacks by farm owners have been going on for years in the area.
Sizwe Madonsela alleges that farm owners have killed many people and are not being arrested.
“I am heartbroken because you were not fighting. You were trying to bring peace but the government is allowing the white people to attack us. One speaker has said that we have reconciled with people who never apologise.”
MEC for Community Safety, Security and Community Liaison Vusi Shongwe says government is concerned with the attacks happening on farms in the area.
Shongwe says the incident should never happen again.
“We are going to make sure that between the farm owners and farm dwellers and workers there is a cohesion; there is a working relationship and I think the farmers who did this – as they see the situation – it’s gonna touch their hearts and make sure this incident doesn’t happen again. We must say all of us, this must not happen in Mpumalanga.“
Daniel Malan, Cornelius Greyling, Othard Klingberg and Michael Sternberg are expected make their second appearance at the Piet Retief Magistrate’s court on Monday.
Discussing rights of farm dwellers with Siya Sithole: