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Man chained like slave speaks out
Centuries after the end of slavery, a Karasburg man has been chained and forced to work on a farm against his will. Willem Boer related his story exclusively to Namibian Sun, and said he still has nightmares about sleeping in chains.
Boer said he had worked on the farm Swartschek in the Warmbad district, owned by Norman Kamaaizemi Tjizoo, 31, before. When Tjizoo asked him to work for him again, he refused.
He claims that Tjizoo did not take no for an answer and followed him with his bakkie.
“I started running but he caught up to me and I was scared that he would run me over. He and his cousin grabbed me and drove with me to a house in Karasburg.
“There they tied me up in a garage with ropes and were slapping me and shouted at me for not wanting to work on that farm,” he said.
Boer said later that evening, while he was still tied up, Tjizoo and his cousin threw him back in the bakkie and drove him to the farm near Warmbad.
“I was so scared when he (Tjizoo) came with these big and heavy chains and locks, I feared for my life,” he said.
Boer said Tjizoo chained him by his neck and feet and he had to sleep in chains.
The next morning Tjizoo took him out to dig out poles with a pickaxe.
“I had heavy chains around my neck and the whole day I had to use a pickaxe in the sun to remove those poles.
It was so painful,” he said.
Boer said on Thursday morning, he was again taken out to continue removing poles.
“The farmer left me there and I don’t know where he went.”
When Tjizoo returned that afternoon, Boer noticed that there were two girls in the bakkie.
“I understand that the two girls’ family got worried and asked the police to go look for them after they found out that the girls had gone with Tjizoo.
“My prayers were answered when a police officer came looking for the girls and saw me tied up with chains in the back of a bakkie.
“When the police got there I was still in the back of the bakkie chained and the police officer, who was shocked, told Tjizoo to release me,” he said.
“Tjizoo told the police officer I would run away, to which the police officer told him that you can’t keep someone against his will.”
Tjizoo, who fled the scene, was arrested on Monday.
He has since appeared in the Karasburg Magistrate’s Court on charges of kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Tjizoo was granted bail of N$2 500 and his case was postponed till February 23.
Tjizoo is said to be working at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.
When contacted for comment yesterday, he said he couldn’t talk as he was busy.
He promised to call back but hadn’t done so at the time of going to press.
Gordon Joseph Namibian Sun