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Five arrested in farm strikes

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By SAPA

Cape Town - Five men were arrested on Tuesday in connection with public violence linked to the Western Cape farmworkers' strike, police said.

They were allegedly part of a group of around 30 to 35 people who had blocked the R324 road in Barrydale, Warrant Officer Clarence Jonas said.

“Police issued a warning, telling them to disperse, but they refused.”

No shots were fired and no one was injured. The group would appear in court soon.

“The situation has stabilised and police are monitoring the area and conducting patrols,” Jonas said.

Farmworkers went on strike last year to demand their daily wage be increased from R69 to R150, and that a coherent land reform programme be implemented.

The strike was suspended in December, but resumed on Wednesday last week. Over 167 people had been arrested since then. On Monday 42 people were arrested, mainly for public violence.

The labour department was holding further public hearings on the review of farmworkers' minimum wages across the Western Cape from Monday evening.

Four clinics in De Doorns were closed on Tuesday because of the strike, Western Cape health authorities said.

Earlier, police reported that a man had died from his injuries after he was shot during the protests.

“We can confirm that a (man) was taken to hospital by unknown civilians and that he subsequently died due to injuries sustained during a shooting... in De Doorns,” Captain Frederick van Wyk said.

“At this stage information received is that he... (was) residing at Elubizi, De Doorns. It is unclear where the incident happened.” - Sapa

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