Aberdeen farmer remains behind bars after sex charge

Henry

A farmer (41) from Aberdeen in the Eastern Cape who is facing charges of rape, human trafficking, intimidation and assault with intent to seriously injure, was refused bail in the magistrate’s court at Graaff-Reinet.

He was earlier released on bail in another case and was given a suspended sentence for sexual assault in another case last year.

The man, who has not yet pleaded to the charge against him, has been in custody since July 3 after he surrendered to the police. The farmer’s legal representative accompanied him to the police station on the day in question.

He is facing five charges of rape and five charges of human trafficking, intimidation and assault with the intention of seriously injuring a minor.

The farmer, a divorced father, is accused of luring several women to his farm near Aberdeen between March 2020 and April this year under the pretext that they would be employed as nannies and administrators on his farm.

The women traveled from as far as Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal to Aberdeen where, after their arrival at the farm, they were allegedly drugged and then raped on several occasions by the farmer.

Luxolo Tyali, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), says some of the complainants were never compensated for the work they did on the farm.

The farmer is also accused of threatening to shoot one of the complainants dead when she escaped from the farm. The woman was then taken to a place of safety.

The farmer apparently also assaulted a nine-year-old child who he took from an informal settlement in the vicinity of Aberdeen to play with his children on his farm, with a broomstick.

‘Prone to transgressions’

According to the NPA, this is not the first time that the farmer has clashed with the law.

He admits in an affidavit submitted to the court in Graaff-Reinet that he was found guilty in 2003 of hunting without a permit and in 2004 of reckless driving. In 2006, the man was found guilty of assault with intent to seriously injure and in September last year he was found guilty of kidnapping and sexual assault in Oudtshoorn, for which he was given a suspended sentence.

The magistrate consequently dismissed his bail application in the latest case against him and found that he is a flight risk who will interfere with witnesses and has a tendency to commit schedule 1 offences.

The bail application was heard in Graaff-Reinet instead of Aberdeen as there is still a case against the farmer on this town’s court roll. The farmer is accused in this case of the rape of a minor child. He was released on bail in this case.