Full text: Forced labour in Africa

African I.C.U., “ gave an instance of what he described 
as the exploitation of forced labour in the Union. It 
was well known, he said, that many diggers were at the 
mercy of the diamond buyers and could not afford to pay 
their Natives wages. They therefore deliberately forgot 
to enter into a wage contract or otherwise did not fill in 
their Natives’ passes correctly. The result was that these 
Natives were arrested and, on being unable to pay a 15s. 
fine, were sent to a labour colony. Their services could 
then be obtained by a combination at 1s. 6d. per head per 
day without a warder, or 1s. 9d. per head with a warder.” 
The daily papers frequently contain accounts of Na- 
tives being charged with failure to pay the poll tax or 
failure to produce the receipt therefor when challenged 
by the police. The following from the East London 
Dispatch is an example ; “ That Natives who have paid 
their poll tax must carry their receipts with them and 
produce them to the police on demand, being guilty of 
an offence should they fail to do so, was made plain in the 
R. M. Court yesterday, when in more than one case it was 
found that the accused had actually paid but had left their 
receipts in their homes. Some of these were lucky 
enough to get off, the alternative charge of failing to pro- 
duce not having been included in the indictment; but 
future offenders are not likely to find this loophole left 
them. .. . There was a large batch of charges of failing to 
pay the tax, the sentence in each case being an order to 
pay forthwith with the alternative of two months hard 
There are no doubt men who omit to pay the poll tax 
from reasons that cannot be defended. On the other 
hand there are certainly others who do not pay for the 
simple reason that they have not got the money. They 
have come to town for the double purpose of assisting

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