Farmer arrested for shooting at protesters

A local farmer is behind bars after allegedly shooting at protesting farm workers.

De Doorns farm workers went on a rampage over salaries on 6 November 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - De Doorns on Tuesday said a farmer was arrested for attempted murder after allegedly opening fire on protesting workers.

Hundreds of farm workers are again blockading the N1 Highway in the area, demanding better salaries.

They have also torched several hectares of vineyards.

Six workers have been arrested along with a farmer, who is alleged, to have fired at protesters.

More police officers including members of the dog unit have arrived at the scene.

Earlier police fired rubber bullets when protesters started pelting them with rocks.

Local officials are expected to meet with the protesters later.

Officials say it is too early to estimate the damage the farmers have suffered after 30 hectares of vineyards were set alight.

Agriculture MEC Gerrit van Rensburg told Eyewitness News a third force could be behind the violent protests.

In October, President Jacob Zuma condemned the violence that has marred protests throughout the country.

Zuma said even though residents have the right to protest, they should not be violent while expressing their frustrations.