President Zuma condemns Mlotshwa’s painful treatment

President Jacob Zuma has strongly condemned the painful treatment meted out to Victor Mlotshwa from Middleburg, who was beaten up and put in a coffin alive by two men who reportedly accused him of trespassing.

"This incident, which was posted on social media, is shocking, painful and despicable in the extreme. The incident is a reminder of the deep-seated racist attitudes that still prevail among some in our country, who still regard black people as lesser human beings.

"The perpetrators of this crime and all others who commit various acts of racism in our non-racial democracy must face the full might of the law," said President Zuma.

President Zuma, who was addressing the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) sitting in East London on Friday, said the incident was also a reminder of the need to continue fighting for a better life for farm workers.

Given the secluded nature of farm work, the President said many suffer in silence.

Government has urged the Department of Labour and other departments to ensure improved monitoring of the working and living conditions of farm workers.

"This matter has also brought into sharper focus the question of access to land by black people. Since 1994, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform through the redistribution programme has transferred 4.7 million hectares of land. This is made up of 5 281 projects amounting to R12 billion," said President Zuma.

More than 120 000 households have benefitted from the redistribution. In addition, the Commission on the Restitution of Land Rights have transferred more than 1.9 million hectares to restitution beneficiaries since 1994.

President Zuma said the programme continues to be implemented and government will continue to process land claims and assist communities to get their land back.

"Government continues to look for ways of speeding up the process and also to support those who have re-gained the land to use it profitably," he said.

Access to justice

Meanwhile, President Zuma announced that on 29 November 2016, government will reach another milestone as it opens the High Court in Limpopo.

It is the first high court to be constructed for the people of Limpopo since 1994. Before, people of Limpopo had to travel to Gauteng.

In terms of the jurisdiction, the court has its main seat in Polokwane and two local seats, in Lephalale and Thohoyandou.

The services that reside in the Limpopo High Court are the Master of the High Court, Office of the State Attorney, Legal Aid South Africa, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Provincial office of the Office of the Chief Justice, Office of the Family Advocate and the Directorate Legal Administration of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

"We are very pleased to bring the wheels of justice closer to the people of the Limpopo Province. The promotion of access to justice is one of government's key achievements of democracy," said President Zuma.

Source: South African Government News Agency.

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