WATCH: Two sides to the viral video sparking racial tension in Vryheid, KZN

A thirty-second video of what seems to be a harsh altercation between a Vryheid farmer and a young man believed to be his former employee, has gone viral on Facebook, Vryheid Herald reports.

The video currently sits at over 400 000 views with more than 8000 shares and seems to be climbing daily. The media set out to locate those involved in the video to find out exactly what happened.

“If u ask for an increase at Vryheid farms, that’s what you get,” read the caption of the video, which was posted by community member, Wandile Zwane.

The video below has been edited due to bad language and to protect the identities of the onlookers:

Mr Zwane told the media that the video was taken around July this year and that the young man being slapped and man-handled in the video was a close friend of his, whose name is known to the media.

The victim of the attack is said to currently not in possession of a cellphone and despite various attempts could not be reached for his comment, but Mr Zwane explained the story according to his understanding of the situation.

“He went out to the farm to ask for an increase but was chased away by his employer. He then returned to the place the next day as his clothes and belongings were still in one of the homesteads and that is when he was approached by ‘Madhevu’ (the man you see in the video), who told him to leave. He went back later that same day as he still had not got his belongings and that is when Madhevu lost it and started to beat him,” said Mr Zwane.

The man who was assaulted is said to have left the premises after the incident and reported the case to Vryheid SAPS.

“Nothing has since come about of that case and we are still awaiting word from the police,” said Mr Zwane.

Ken Taylor, the head of community safety in the Kambula area, where the incident took place, said that he was well aware of the video that had gone viral and pointed out that there were two sides to the story.

“What I gathered is the men were sitting, drinking and making a hell of a noise out there and the farmer had gone out and asked them to keep it low and not disturb the peace as it was early in the morning. He was rudely awakened by the noise and that’s why I think he lost it a bit there,” said Ken.

Ken pointed out that there are rules against drinking and making a noise on the premises, as it is private property.

He said that he had also spoken to the young man about the matter, asking him why the ‘mkhulu’ had hit him, to which the young man responded ‘hhayi ukuthi uyadelela nje’, which he translated as ‘he is just being difficult’.

“I don’t think that hitting the young man was the best thing to do but now that it’s out there people need to know that there are two sides to a story. Obviously, both sides are wrong, but now the wrong story is going viral,” said Ken.

Ken said that he believed that the farmer, being from the older generation, had merely been disciplining a child and there was nothing more to it, but that it may be taken as wrong in today’s society.

The son of the angry man in the video, said that the altercation had nothing to do with an increase.

“This person was dismissed from work the day before but returned on that Sunday, and was causing chaos and drinking out there. My father went out at least twice that morning, asking him to leave, as he was trespassing and the premises were clearly marked as a ‘staff only’ area,” said the farmer’s son.

He explained that this is where the ‘ngitheni kuwe ekseni? /what did I say to you this morning?’ that his father says in the video comes from and added that the young man had gone to the police station to report a case but that nothing had come of it as he was clearly trespassing, having been dismissed from working within the farm.

“He had been working for us on the farm as a temporary employee, but I dismissed him because of the drunken attitude with which he approached me, asking that he be paid the same as the other employees. I explained to him that the others were working for me full-time and that he was a temporary employee and, seeing that he continued trying to bully me for an increase, I asked him to get his things and leave,” continued the farmer’s son.

He also pointed out that the men sitting around the beer bottles in the video, knew that the young man was in the wrong and this is why everyone was just sitting around and staring.

“Surely, if they knew he was being picked on, they would have done something,” he said.

The matter has been taken to the Induna in the Kambula area and the farmer has since apologised to the Kambula community for having lost his temper.

Read original story on vryheidherald.co.za

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