Western Cape farm protesters arrested

2013-01-09 13:51

At least 50 people have been arrested as renewed farm worker strikes for better wages in the Western Cape turned violent.

Lt-Col Andre Traut said riot police had been deployed to contain the situation in the Boland farming town of De Doorns.

“We are taking action, and arrests are being effected,” Traut said, adding that “in the region of 50” people had been detained since the protests began early today.

Protesters stoned cars, prompting the police to close roads. The N1 was closed outside De Doorns, forcing motorists to use alternative routes.

Farm workers said they would not return to the vineyards this afternoon as the situation had become too volatile.

De Doorns was also at flash point two months ago when Boland farm workers went on strike over low pay and poor working conditions.

This week hopes were dashed that talks organised by the department of labour would yield an agreement and avert another round of protests.

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