There are many cases on record of indentured Indians being assaulted by employers. Such assaults had to be reported to the magistrate. The following document is a deposition drawn up by Hureebhukut on 10 February 1877. Source: I.I./l/3, 20/1877, Natal Archives.
I am an indentured Coolie and work for Mr. Thomas Brown, Umgeni Sugar Estate. On Friday ... at morning muster I was present, and told the manager Mr. John Brown that I was sick, and went home. Half an hour after [,] the white man who is in charge of the Coolies at the mill, came to me, and said come on, at the same time struck me with a whip which he had in his hand, twice on the legs. Fearing that he would strike me again, I went off to the milland worked all day. Again at muster on Saturday morning I told the manager and sirdar that I was sick, suffering from loose bowels and was not able to work. So I went to my hut [;] about an hour after [,] the same white man came to my hut. I was at that time just entering my hut when he (the white man) caught me by the neck, and struck me three times on the back with a stick (two marks shown) after which I snatched away the stick and ran into the cane. I went to Verulam court on Monday morning and at 9 a.m. I met the Indian constable there who said the magistrate is not here today, come tomorrow, and on Tuesday when I went to the court house, the same Indian constable told me that the magistrate would not be in that day also, and said try and come again tomorrow. I went the next day and made my statement to the interpreter of the court, after he had taken down all that I had to say, he told me to go back to my master's estate. I said I would not go back till my case was settled, and if I did not get proper satisfaction I would go to the Protector of Immigrants at Durban [,] which I have done.
I have been twice during the Christmas month to complain at the Verulam court, and the first time the interpreter would not take down my complaint but he did so the second time I went with a large mark on my left shoulder.