Organisations representing farm dwellers and workers around Mkhondo are calling on the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga not to grant bail to the four men accused of killing two farm dwellers. This is after the four suspects aged between 31 and 58 appeared in court facing two counts of murder.
Daniel Malan, Cornelius Greyling, Othard Klingberg and Michael Sternberg are accused of shooting at a group of job seekers at a farm last week.
Update on the Mkhondo murder case with Tumelo Machogo:
According the police, the deceased were part of a group of farm dwellers who went to seek for employment as they are seasonal farm workers. They further say on their way back, they realised that one of them was left on the farm.
Upon return on the farm, they found that he was being assaulted. A scuffle ensued and two people were shot and killed on the scene.
Speaking on behalf of the affected family, Nathi Coka, says the deceased were breadwinners.
“We want the suspects to support the children of the deceased. We also want him to leave the farm because he has been harassing Black people. He doesn’t want to live with Black people. If he was warning them, he would have shot them in the leg and not in the head,” says Coka.
Mpumalanga MEC Vusi Shongwe on the Mkhondo murder case:
Speaking on behalf of the residents, Workers and Labour Tenants Association, Bongani Hlatshwayo, raised concerns that cases opened against farm owners are often neglected.
“We want the suspects to support the children of the deceased. We also want him to leave the farm because he has been harassing black people. He doesn’t want to live with black people. If he was warning them he would have shot them in the leg and not in the head,” says Hlatshwayo.
Mpumalanga Premier, Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane, visited the family of the two deceased.
The Piet Magistrate Magistrate’s Court postponed the case against the four suspects to Monday for a formal bail application.
Case of four men accused of killing 2 farm workers postponed:
Mpumalanga’s Agriculture MEC, Mandla Msibi says they will try and create dialogue between farmers and farm workers to bring about social cohesion.
Msibi says it is important to maintain peace and stability between farmers and farm dwellers.
“We are still devastated about the development that are happening at Mkhondo, because they have got a potential to disturb peace and stability in the province. We call for police to do their work. As a department, we are going to create a dialogue between all parties involved to try and bring about social cohesion because we all need one another in the province and between the farmers and farm workers we must create peace and harmony,” adds the MEC.