The trial of a white South African farmer who allegedly forced his black worker to eat faeces and then tried to drown him in a septic tank began on Monday.
Harry Leicester, as well as his wife and son, face possible charges of kidnapping and attempted murder, according to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), the body that brought the case.
“On December 9, 2017, the family allegedly forced an employee to drink litres of faecal matter before attempting to drown him in a septic tank on their farm,’’ the SAHRC said in a statement.
“It is alleged that the farm in question has been the site of continuous human rights violations,’’ the statement added.
Disturbing testimony was heard in court on Monday, with SAHRC attorney Buang Jones tweeting that the farm worker, Joseph Mona, was repeatedly called racial slurs by his employer.
“The farmer took a big jug, dipped it in the sewer hole and forced the complainant to drink its contents,’’ he said. The farmer and his son then dragged Mona to a sewer hole.
“Right to human dignity (and dignified existence) is not a practical reality for many farmer workers and dwellers in South Africa,’’ Jones tweeted.
About 24 years after the end of apartheid, racism persists in South Africa, with multiple abuse cases shocking residents of the “Rainbow Nation.’’
In 2017, two white South African farmers, Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen, got 14 and 11 years in jail, respectively, after they forced a black man into a coffin and threatened to set it alight.