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Black Farm Laborer Beaten to Death for Running Over Dogs

December 24, 1987

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ A black farm laborer who accidentally drove over his employer’s dogs with a tractor was tied to a tree, beaten and whipped to death over two days, a newspaper reported today.

Police in Pietersburg in northern Transvaal confirmed that a black man had died of assault and a murder case was being investigated, but said no one had been arrested and would not release details.

The Sowetan, the country’s only daily newspaper for blacks, quoted unidentified sources regarding the Dec. 12 death of Eric Sambo, 35.

The paper said Sambo was employed as a tractor driver on the farm in the Levubu area, about 240 miles north of Johannesburg. The paper said he ran over and killed the dogs, who were resting under his tractor, after a lunch break, and offered to pay for the dogs.

The paper said he was tied to a tree and beaten until he died.

Police reported two black men were killed in continuing violence in the townships around the southeastern city of Pietermaritzburg, where more than 220 have died this year in factional fighting.

Police said they found the body of a 19-year-old man with several stab wounds today. Also, police today arrested a man accused of fatally shooting a 22-year-old man after a street fight.

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