Villiersdorp farmworkers to return to work

Villersdorp farmworkers have agreed to return to work following violent wage protests this week.

A protester confronts a farmer in a bakkie while others (unseen) block the main road in Swellendam with burning obstacles on 15 November 2012. Picture:Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA.

CAPE TOWN - The United Democratic Front (UDF) on Saturday 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 disgruntled group along with workers from several farms in the Boland, Cape Winelands, De Doorns and Ceres embarked on a wage strike this week.

Violence spread rapidly as the workers went on rampage demanding to be paid R150 for a day's work as opposed to the R70 they are currently receiving.

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."

Meanwhile, the farming community in Wolseley have welcomed the removal of the local police station commander following this week's clashes during a wage protest.

The official allegedly ordered her officers to fire at striking farm workers resulting in the killing of Michael Daniels.

Police spokesperson Andre Traut said Daniels' death is being investigated.

"The death of a 28-year-old man, earlier this week, is the subject of an investigation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID)."

Sithembiso Fadana, who is a member of a committee set up to resolve the farmer's dispute, said residents are pleased that the station commander has been replaced.

"The news was well received by the community."

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has accused the ANC of instigating the farm protests.

The DA accused the ANC of paying people to protest but the ANC denied any involvement.