Cape man on illegal gun charge

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Cape Town - A man will appear in court after being found with an unlicensed firearm at a Worcester roadblock, Western Cape police said on Wednesday.

Lt-Col Andre Traut said the man, 43, would appear in the Worcester Magistrate's Court on Thursday, on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

He was one of seven men arrested at a routine roadblock on the N1 on Tuesday morning, during farmworker protests.

“The suspects were driving in the direction of De Doorns when their vehicle was searched. A .308 Mauser and 60 rounds of ammunition were found in the vehicle and no one could produce a valid licence for the possession thereof,” Traut said.

Six of the men were released after an investigation.

AFP reported that the men were suspected to be members of the far-right Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) but Traut did not comment on the allegation.

Table grape harvesters began protesting in De Doorns in early November for R150 per day and improved living conditions. Most earned between R69 and R75 a day. The protests soon spread to 15 other towns, leading to violence and two deaths.

Farmworkers suspended the strike to allow the Employment Conditions Commission to review the sectoral determination for agriculture, which stipulates minimum wages, number of leave days, working hours, and termination rules among others.

However, many workers resumed the strike on Tuesday after Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said it would be impossible to address their demands by their December 4 deadline.

Cosatu announced on Tuesday evening that the strike had ended after it came to an agreement with Agri-SA to conduct negotiations on a farm-by-farm basis.

Talks would be about the wage demand of a R150 per day, and a profit-sharing scheme.

If no agreement was reached by January 9, workers on those farms would strike again.

Sapa


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