Police targeted in farmworkers' strike

2013-01-14 20:40

Cape Town - A police officer was injured during a farmworkers' strike in Villiersdorp on Monday, Western Cape police said.

He was struck by stones thrown at a police station, Warrant Officer November Filander said. He was taken to a local hospital.

Police arrested 16 people for public violence in De Doorns, nine in Wolseley, 12 in Villiersdorp, and two in Ladysmith.

Workers set tyres alight at the police station, but no damage was caused.

"We had to fire rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, and arrested 12 people for public violence," said Filander.

Police forces stepped up their presence in De Doorns, deploying at least six armoured vehicles after an early morning attack on their colleagues.

"At approximately 03:00 police members on foot patrol in the informal area of De Doorns were attacked by a group of people," said Filander said.

Police used "a stun grenade to disperse the group," he told AFP.

In Wolseley, the situation was similar. Protesters threw stones at police and burned tyres.

The R43 road in Worcester was closed because burning tyres were strewn across the road.

The labour department had extended its public hearings for the review of farmworkers' minimum wages - to take place across the Western Cape from Monday evening.

Acting department spokesperson Mokgadi Pela said the first hearing this week would take place in Grabouw on Monday at 18:00.

A second hearing would be held in Paarl on Tuesday evening.

Hearings had been set down for De Doorns, Robertson, Oudtshoorn and Vredendal for the remainder of the week, but venues had yet to be confirmed.

The labour department held a month-long session of public hearings across the country in November and December last year following an extended strike by seasonal farmworkers in the Western Cape.

Farmworkers wanted the daily minimum wage to be increased from R69 to R150.

The employment conditions commission was tasked with reviewing the sectoral determination for agriculture, which stipulates minimum wages, number of leave days, working hours, and termination rules, among others.

The sectoral determination was put in place in March 2012 and could legally be reviewed again in 12 months.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant was expected to make an announcement on the new wage determination in February. It would come into effect from 1 March.

  • Billy - 2013-01-14 20:57

    lol must be more of them "isolated incidents" showing up the unions should be held accountable for this. as a start. where is zooMA? does he not care what happens in the country?( or is he telling them to do this. that must be why they are not asking for him, because he is already involved. he should of been there by now in his suit and fancy car waving and singing.

      john.right.7587 - 2013-01-15 09:57

      I say shoot to kill. These maaifoedies will never stop until the whole Africa has burn to the ground and nothing is left. They want to go back to live in mud houses and eating with their hands so let them. I say shoot to kill that's the only way these problem children that was raised by the devil ancestors of them will learn.

  • Modikoe.Elias.Ramongana - 2013-01-14 21:02

    Stop using rubber bullets

      bennie.kruger.5 - 2013-01-14 21:29

      Also think so - switch to live ammo

      bongani.nsele.58 - 2013-01-15 07:18

      mean to say live ammunition....

  • riaan.coetzee.1690 - 2013-01-14 21:09

    And when the police fight back, the strikers suddenly become poor innocent victims....

      prot.kpax.33 - 2013-01-14 21:29

      I've said it before these guys want another marikana as they think this would help their cause, why would you go and do this at a police station if your issue is with your employer for better wages?

      marius.fourie.526 - 2013-01-15 06:56

      Funny how the internet and You Tube are full of videos of "Apartheid police" shooting "innocent" protesters in the 70 and 80's. Now it is their own shooting at them. So what it the common denominator? Violent uncontrollable barbarians!

  • rollingstone.kanyane - 2013-01-14 21:13

    Farmers to please close all the farms for 5 years leave all the gweregwerews to starve peee in the bushes what else do they want from R69p/d to R115

  • Tello Moleko - 2013-01-14 21:15

    you are so wright riaan.coetzee nd so called mayors nd mecs locked themselves in the cage,but ones police shoot back,they will start talking nonsense comparing self defense as apartheid system

  • Mandy Casey - 2013-01-14 21:22

    Mildred Olifant indirectly is responsible for these attacks on police staff.

  • tshireletso.molobi.1 - 2013-01-14 21:38

    This strike is getting out of control. Union pls finalise de negotiations b4 we have another marikana story

  • brendon.nel.7 - 2013-01-14 21:56

    Now do these hooligans really deserve the demanded R150 a day

  • ian.robertreid - 2013-01-14 22:00

    The day we throw stones at a policeman is the day we have 2evaluate ~ this is just unacceptable??

  • chris.buchner.12 - 2013-01-14 22:15

    Mean while in another part of south africa the army is doing nothing and receiving salaries :) got to love this country

  • Erna - 2013-01-15 00:05

    It gets harder and harder to symphathise with these farm workers.

  • Notrax123 - 2013-01-15 00:41

    This is arnarchy, not a strike. when the protectors of law and order become the targets, then it is a state of war, proclaim a state of emergency, and enforce the law, violently if need be.

  • Ndangah Alan Mmberegeni - 2013-01-15 07:28

    people must open their mind and face it, no one is forcing someone to work in the farm, a farm is not a goverment, and these voilence of them must come to end,

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