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Twelve sugar cane farms in eastern South Africa have been torched and about 1,000 black families are occupying portions of 63 sugar farms in a land dispute that has turned violent, the 'Mail and Guardian' said on Thursday. The report said that police and soldiers have been on the farms since last week to protect the farmers and to patrol the land but had been unable to prevent the arson. It added that the arson was the latest manifestation of a bitter dispute pitting the farmers, who are mostly mixed-race, against blacks who say they want back the land some 180 km north of Durban from which they were removed under apartheid.