Early reports are that a farmer in Wellington has been pulled form his bakkie and beaten to death by protesting farm labourers in the Western Cape fruit farming region of Wellington. Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille tweeted the following at 13h00 on Wednesday:
Reports coming that a farmer has died after being assaulted in Wellington. Grave risk of retaliation. Zuma must bring in SANDF.
— Helen Zille (@helenzille) November 14, 2012
However, the claim has been disputed by Agri Wes-Kaap.
Rumor that a farmer was killed by protesters is untrue. Please verify info and refrain from instigating panic. #awk
— Agri Wes-Kaap (@agriweskaap) November 14, 2012
The original source of the claim seems to have emanated from the Facebook page of conservative pro-farmer lobby group, Boere Krisis Aksie (BKA). Police are not available for comment at this time, and confusion around the alleged incident remains.
Not far away on the town of Wolsely, a man has been shot dead as police repel shop looters.
Police confirm a 27 year old man has been killed during #FarmProtest in Wolsely. Michael Daniel’s family allege he was shot by police.
— Lester Kiewit (@lesterkk) November 14, 2012
It is the third day of farm protests in the Western Cape after violent picketing kicked off in the table grape farming district of De Doorns on Monday. Farm labourers, are demanding a minimum wage of R150 a day. Their current wage is roughly R70 a day. By Wednesday, protests had spread to 16 towns, with several workers arrested for public violence.
Other hotspots during the widespread protest have included Somerset West, where police fired runner bullets to disperse striking workers, and Nduli, outside Ceres, where a fire response team narrowly escaped with their lives after their vehicle was pelted with stones in a mob ambush.
Meanwhile, the ANC has called for the boycott of South African wines produced in the Cape Winelands, in solidarity with striking workers. The ANC is apparently unaware that the majority of the protests are taking place on table fruit growing districts.
Keep you eyes peeled for updates as the story develops.
[Source : Twitter]
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