A man photographed driving with a woman inside a cage on the back of his bakkie has brushed off criticism‚ saying he was merely giving her a lift.

A photograph of the Isuzu bakkie with caged woman and Eastern Cape registration plates caused outrage when it was shared on social media on Thursday. Western Cape Premier Helen Zille entered the fray‚ urging officials to “investigate‚ arrest and charge if it is what it seems”.

The Isuzu bakkie photographed with a woman in a cage caused outrage when it was shared on social media on Thursday.
Image by: Denise Rens/Oos-Kaap Plaaswerkers Opstand/Facebook

The picture first appeared on the “Oos-Kaap Plaaswerkers Opstand” (Eastern Cape Farmworkers Uprising) Facebook group – a movement by farm workers taking a stand and speaking out against injustices and often illegal labour practices still persisting in this part of the farming sector.

TMG Digital tracked down the owner of the vehicle‚ Johan Erasmus‚ who admitted to driving the bakkie‚ and said the woman wanted a lift from a farm outside Cradock in the Eastern Cape. She was apparently going to a clinic there.

“She herself climbed into that thing and I dropped her off in Cradock‚” said Erasmus.

“This cage on the back of the bakkie is a sheep cage that we use to weigh lambs. The cage is loose‚ I tie it down with the straps and then I take it off and weigh lambs.”

He said there was no space in the passenger seat for her.

Zille posted in a tweet later that the owner of the vehicle had been found: “Emerging facts appear very serious. Police onto it.”

TimesLIVE is trying to reach the woman on the bakkie for comment.