Wolseley's top cop accused of misconduct

Wolseley Police Station's chief is accused of ordering officers to shoot at the protesters.

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

CAPE TOWN - Police management on Friday moved to replace the Wolseley Police Station chief, who is accused of ordering her officers to fire at striking farmworkers.

Michael Daniels was shot in the chest earlier this week, when police clashed with protestors in the Boland town.

Daniels was apparently on his way to buy groceries when he was got caught up in the chaos.

Community forum member, Sithembiso Fadana, said they had laid a complaint against the Wolsely station commander.

"She is accused of giving the command to shoot. She is accused of racist comments."

Police spokesperson Andre Traut said: "No member has been suspended, but I can confirm there has been a change of command at the Wolseley Police Station. Unfortunately, matters involving our police personnel are not disclosed to the media."

The farmworkers' strike spread to 16 towns after starting in De Doorns last week.

Harvesters want to be paid more than the minimum wage of R70 a day.

Meanwhile, a Swellendam businessman told Eyewitness News he lost all his savings after his business was torched.

Several shops, including bottle stores and pharmacies, were either set alight or looted during overnight protests.

Henry da Silva said he was shocked when he heard businesses premises in which he had invested had been torched and looted.

Da Silva was preparing to open a new pub on 1 December.

He said the venue was ransacked. Windows were broken and pool tables were turned upside down.

A bottle store nearby was also torched.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille believes the protests are politically motivated.

Zille called on President Jacob Zuma to condemn the violence that has marred the protests.