Police fire fresh round at striking S.Africa farm workers

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DE DOORNS, South Africa, Jan 09, 2013 (AFP) – South African police fired a fresh round of rubber bullets as farm workers renewed a wildcat strike in the picturesque western fruit belt Wednesday, an AFP correspondent reported.

Protests turned violent in De Doorns, a top table grape-growing area outside Cape Town, as strikers hurled stones at police from behind barricades.

The crowd numbered around 3,500 people, according to police.

Pockets of unrest flared up across the Western Cape province Wednesday, weeks after unprecedented farm strikes, which also started in De Doorns, left two dead and vineyards destroyed.

The industrial action follows violent work stoppages in the mining industry late last year which left over 50 people dead, including 34 shot dead by police in one day.

The farm workers are demanding a wage hike from 69 rand ($8) to 150 rand ($17.50) a day.

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