the South African Disability Alliance are concerned about the future of the boy
who allegedly survived a brutal farm attack, but developed multiple
South Africa, the National Council for People with Physical Disabilities
(NCPPDSA) and the South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB) are
shocked and saddened by the report of the alleged brutal attack on a young boy,
Flippie Engelbrecht aged 15 (now 19), on the farm in Robertson where his
parents used to work. In a reported wage dispute between Flippie’s father and
farm management, it is reported that farm management attacked both Flippie and
alleged attack in 2008, Flippie sustained damage to his face and head which
resulted in an emergency operation to reduce swelling on his brain. Although
the operation was successful in reducing the swelling and the risk of further
injury, it left him blind in both eyes and he subsequently developed epilepsy.
During a later seizure he fell into the family’s cooking fire and suffered such
severe burns that both his hands had to be amputated.
original, unsuccessful attempt to claim damages from the farm management, Flippie
and his parents are once again trying to find justice through the judicial
system. It is reported that the case will go to court within the next few days.
NCPPDSA and the SANCB, all members of the South African Disability Alliance
(SADA) agree that a collaborative message should be sent to the South Africa
public to create awareness about the vulnerability of farm workers, especially
those with disabilities. The disability sector renders services to all persons
with disabilities, but also has a strong focus on the prevention of
disabilities. A lack of information and knowledge on disability and its
relation to physical violence in rural communities dramatically increases the
risk of disability as can be seen in the case of Flippie who is today blind,
has epilepsy and a physical disability.
Living in an
isolated farming community increases Flippie’s vulnerability and directly
influences his future opportunities for independence, employment and providing
for a future family. Supportive services are needed in such cases and the
members of SADA offer counselling to him and his family, as well as training
sessions on human rights and disability awareness for the broader community.
that the Human Rights of all South Africans should be protected and promoted
and that we have a duty to people in rural and farming communities by offering
services, support and educational opportunities so that persons with
disabilities in rural communities can claim their rights to social justice.”
continue to follow the legal proceedings and trust that truth and justice will
prevail, but also that Flippie and his family will receive all the support they
may need. To contact any of the above members of SADA, please phone Epilepsy SA
at 021 595 4900, NCPPDSA at 011 452 2774 and the SANCB at 012 452 3811.
By: Tomcat Advertising
Agency (Pty) Ltd.
of: Epilepsy South Africa
Contact: Karin Gastrow
Tel: 0861 866 228