15 January 2013

South Africa: De Doorns Striker Killed in Shooting

Johannesburg — A 23-year-old man died in hospital after a shooting incident in De Doorns on Tuesday related to the farmworkers' strike, Western Cape police said.

"We can confirm that a [man] was taken to hospital by unknown civilians and that he subsequently died due to injuries sustained during a shooting incident in De Doorns," Captain Frederick van Wyk said.

"At this stage information received is that he is residing at Elubizi, De Doorns. It is unclear where the incident happened."

Van Wyk said he could not provide more details and that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate would investigate the shooting.

Farmworkers went on strike last year to demand their daily wage be increased from R69 to R150, and that a coherent land reform programme be implemented.

The strike was suspended in December, but resumed on Wednesday last week.

The labour department was holding further public hearings on the review of farmworkers' minimum wages across the Western Cape from Monday evening.

Four clinics in De Doorns were closed on Tuesday because of the farmworker strike, Western Cape health authorities said.

"We cannot afford to put our health workers who work at these clinics at risk, and so are forced to close the clinics," health MEC Theuns Botha said in a statement.

"It is quite ironic to think that the issues at stake for farmworkers are about human dignity but at the same time the situation is depriving our patients of a basic right, as set out in the constitution."

The department temporary closed the Orchard, Sandhills, De Doorns and Wolseley clinics.

At least 167 people had been arrested since Wednesday last week. On Monday alone 42 people were arrested, mainly for public violence.

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