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Second man dies in farmworkers protest

Sapa

A second person has died following the farmworkers strike this week in the Western Cape, police said on Sunday.

Striking farm workers in Swellendam. (Shelley Christians, Gallo)

Bongile Ndleni (40) was found dead in his home on Saturday morning, Lt-Col Andre Traut said.

"Indications are that he was shot on Wednesday on a farm in the Prince Alfred Hamlet area by individuals driving a LDV.

"He was admitted to hospital and subsequently discharged on Friday evening," said Traut.

A murder case had been opened and investigations were underway. No arrests had been made yet.

Traut said there was no evidence to suggest that Ndleni died as result of police action.

On Wednesday, a stand-off between police and protesters resulted in the death of 28-year-old tractor driver Michael Daniels.

A farmer was also injured when he went to collect his bakkie close to the scene of the protests.

The 82-year-old was hospitalised after being hit on the arms and legs.

The farmworkers strike was suspended on Friday while wage negotiations were continuing.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said should no agreement be reached, then farmworkers would go back on strike on December 4.

On Thursday, around 400 farmworkers marched to the Wolseley municipal offices to meet community leaders and the police, following unrest over wages.

Workers agreed to suspend the strike on condition that the sectoral determination for agriculture be looked at by the Employment Conditions Commission next week.

Protests about wages and living conditions started in De Doorns last week and had spread to 15 other towns in the Western Cape by Wednesday. Farmworkers were calling for wages of R150 a day. Most earned between R69 and R75 a day. – Sapa

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