HC Deb 28 June 1905 vol 148 cc365-6

To ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to a case tried before Mr. Van den Berg, at "A" Court, Johannesburg, on 17th May, 1905, in which an overseer at the Croesus Gold Mine, Langlaate, was fined £20 for cruelty to a native, and in which the indictment alleged that, on 8th May, the accused assaulted one of his native employees, named Jim Simali, by handcuffing him to an iron staple attached to a wooden plank made fast to the floor, keeping him in that position for four days without food or drink; whether he will take steps to have the man convicted of this crime removed from his post as overseer; and whether he will devise some greater safeguards than at present exist to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in future.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Lytelton.) I am asking the Governor for a report on this case, and for his observations as to the steps which the Government may be able to take, not merely to punish such offences but to prevent their occurrence. In the newspaper account of the trial which I have seen the accused is referred to as "a contractor," and not as "an overseer," and the magistrate found as a fact that the native had not been kept without food and drink.