ANC denies instigating farm protests

The ANC has denied claims by the DA that it is behind the violent Western Cape farm protests.

Protesters in the main road of Swellendam demonstrate for better wages on 15 November 2012 during widespread unrest. Picture:Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA.

CAPE TOWN - The ANC in the Western Cape on Saturday rubbished claims by the Democratic Alliance (DA) that it is fuelling the violent farmworkers strike.

Workers from De Doorns embarked on a strike over wages which quickly spread to 16 farming communities.

The strike has been marred with violence in some areas vineyards were torched and businesses looted.

A 28-year-old man was killed allegedly by police in Wolseley earlier this week.

Workers are demanding R150 for a day's work while employers are offering R80.

Currently, they are earning between R60 and R75.

The ANC'S Cobus Grobler said they are not responsible for the strike.

"Utterly nonsense, it's devoid of any truth. It's a hoax. The leaflets they're referring to were fabricated and it's clear they were not from the ANC."

But the DA Western Cape leader, Ivan Meyer, maintained they are adamant the ANC is to blame.

"We know the ANC councillors on the ground are behind this campaign. They've been exposed and they have to face the consequences."

Meanwhile, United Democratic Front (UDF) said striking farmworkers in Villersdorp in the western cape have agreed to go back to work on Monday.

The organisation said the decision was taken at a rally earlier.

The UDF's Mario Wanza said discussions are underway to have the farming community unite as one.

"We have agreed to set up strike committees in every community and we are calling on a general strike if our demand of a R150 is not met."