W.Cape police monitoring farm protests

Western Cape police have vowed to maintain law and order in all the areas affected by violent farm protests.

John Saaiman says he was attacked by Swellendam protesters on his way to a party on 15 November 2012. Picture: Malungelo Booi/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape police remain on high alert in both Swellendam and Bonnievale.

At least 40 people have been arrested in connection with overnight demonstrations.

The unrest in Swellendam is believed to be linked to a court case involving the Democratic Alliance, African National Congress (ANC) and African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP). The case was won by the DA.

Meanwhile, a man has described to Eyewitness News how protestors attacked him while he was en route to a friend's party.

John Saaiman says he was stabbed three times by protestors, who looted and torched businesses on Thursday night.

Saaiman says protestors asked where he was going, and when he replied he was visiting a friend, he was stabbed.

The 23-year-old says he was not even aware of the protest.

Police continue to patrol the streets of Swellendam following the violent protests.

A military helicopter is also hovering over the town.

The situation is calm but people are uneasy.

At the same time, police have confirmed demonstrations in Bonnievale are related to farmworkers' wages.

The police's Andre Traut says, "We have resources on the ground to maintain law and order. We will monitor the situation and we will stay in those areas for as long as it takes."

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has warned the ongoing farm protests will lead to job losses as protesters have torched vineyards in some areas.

Zille believes the protests are politically motivated.