PETITION BY SIYAZAKHA LAND RIGHTS MOVEMENT ON THE BAIL APPLICATION AND TRIAL OF THE KILLERS OF THE APRIL FAMILY IN BESTEEKRAAL FARMS IN THE SAKHISIZWE MUNICIPAL AREA.
TO: THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
STOP THE ATTACK ON FAMWORKERS, DWELLWERS NOW!!!
JUSTICE MUST PREVAIL!!!
We, the undersigned residents, farm dwellers and workers of the 26 Besteekral farms in the Sakhisizwe Municipal Area who organise themselves under the banner of the Siyazakha Land Rights Movement make this submission to the state/ prosecutor in the case of the state v the accused in the murder case of the April family, to oppose the bail application of the accused person as it is not in the interest of justice or the of the Besteekraal community to have them roaming the streets.
We learnt with dismay late last year of the brutal murder of the late Mr. and Mrs. April who had been living on that piece of land for a period of about 30 years or more. It took time for the wheels of justice to roll and the accused were identified by some community members and were taken through a parade for verification and were subsequently charged with the help of the community. That, in our view, renders the community, particularly the persons who identified the accused, unsafe as we are not sure how unlikely it is that the accused persons might interfere with witnesses in the case.
We have also learnt that the accused was released from prison on parole. We are not sure of his parole conditions or what he was sentenced for initially but the fact that today he stands accused of a heinous crime such as the murder of the April family shows that he is an unrehabilitated criminal who is likely to break the law again once released on bail.
As residents of the 26 Besteekral farms, we have been denied our basic Constitutional rights in a democratic state by our own black farmers who continue to perpetuate the brutal legacy of their white counterparts who murder, rape and exploit farm dwellers and workers residing in their land. Forces of darkness identified and used the opportunity to terrorise and murder farm dwellers and deny them the right to be buried in land they reside in which in our view is unconstitutional in a democratic dispensation.
We therefore ask the prosecution to oppose the accused’s bail application and to pursue a maximum sentence. We further call on Law Enforcement to speedily and thoroughly investigate the murder of Mr. and Mrs. April to an extent that the handlers of the killers are identified and brought to justice.
Signed by representatives of Besteekraal Famrdwellers and Workers: