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Wednesday 17 September  

Two dead in S.Africa farm-worker protests

Published on 18 November 2012 - 4:13pm
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Violent protests by South African farm workers demanding wage hikes have left two people dead this week, police said Sunday, after the body of a seasonal worker was discovered.

"The body of 40-year-old Bongile Ndleni was found in his residence on Saturday morning. Indications are that he was shot on Wednesday... on a farm in the Prince Alfred Hamlet area," about 150 kilometres (95 miles) northeast of Cape Town, said regional police spokesman Andre Traut.

"We have reason to believe that his death was caused by... gunshot wound, and therefore a murder case was registered."

The unrest shaking the Western Cape farming heartland started earlier this month in De Doorns, a grape farming town outside Cape Town, where vineyards were set alight.

Thousands of striking farm workers have taken to the streets demanding their minimum daily wages be increased from 70 rand (six euros, $8) to 150 rand (13 euros, $17).

On Friday, South African protesters looted shops and blockaded streets with burning tyres, a day after violent protests that led to 42 arrests.

On Wednesday, a 28-year-old man was shot and killed in nearby Wolseley and five others wounded during clashes with police, in scenes reminiscent of the mining unrest that has claimed more than 50 lives in South Africa.

Police said calm had returned to the area by Saturday, after the government promised to review the minimum wage for the sector.

  • Striking farmworkers protest on November 15, 2012 in Wolseley, a small rural ...
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