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DA, ANC blame each other for farm protests

The ANC and the DA say neither of them are to blame for the recent farm protests in the Western Cape.

Protesting farm workers march through the De Doorns town centre on 6 November 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the African National Congress (ANC) are blaming each other for stoking tensions across Western Cape farming communities

Demonstrations for higher wages erupted in De Doorns last week, before it spread to 16 farming towns.

The strikes turned violent, with at least one person killed during the unrest.

The DA said it found a pamphlet in the Theewaterskloof area, which created the impression that the ANC offered to pay some people to protest.

The DA's provincial spokesperson Liza Albrecht said, "It [the issuing of pamphlets] confirms our suspicions that people were compensated [to stage the protests]."

But the ANC lashed out at the opposition, accusing it of spreading lies.

ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said, "[The DA] has always tried to run a smear campaign against the ANC in the Western Cape, including the so called the "project reclaim", which does not exist."

Meanwhile, some 300 farmworkers returned to work on Friday, abandoning their protest.

The workers were demanding a weekly wage of R150.

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