THE victory of the strike of the Lonmim miners will inspire not just the workers of South Africa and Africa as a whole, but the working class of the world.
The miners fought on despite the treachery of their original union leadership of the NUM and COSATU whose leaders collaborated with the mine owners, and international capital, and condemned the miners’ demands as unachievable.
The deaths at the hands of the ANC police of 34 miners served to make the strikers and their families more determined than ever to win.
The platinum miners and the gold miners who joined their struggle proved to be much stronger than the bureaucratic apparatus of the Stalinists of the South African CP who dominate the NUM and the COSATU leadership.
They also showed their mettle by refusing to bend the knee to the police and the army which was brought into the struggle.
Now workers in SA are celebrating their victory. One worker held up his hand to show ‘mission accomplished’ written on it – but in reality the revolution that has erupted has only just begun.
Millions more will take strike action, and take action to see that the poverty of millions of workers and youth is addressed through a socialist revolution to nationalise the banks, the major industries and the land.
This victory has changed the course of history in South Africa. It has been driven forward by the world crisis of the capitalist system.
This crisis is also driving the working class of the most important African states, including Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt to take their fate into their own hands, in revolutionary struggle.
That this struggle of the South African working class is part of the African socialist revolution is being made clear by the events in Kenya.
In Kenya, the heirs of Jomo Kenyatta have long ago settled down to a bourgeois existence and are coming into conflict with the Kenyan working class, declaring that its struggles are illegal.
Striking Kenyan public university lecturers and workers say no amount of intimidation or threats will make them go back to work until their demands are met.
This follows a statement made by the Vice-Chancellors Committee of the Inter-Public University Councils Consultative (IPUCC) Forum warning them that their current strikes have no legal protection and those who will not resume duty will be sacked.
The Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) National Secretary General Muga K’olale however rubbished the claim. On Saturday, the Vice-Chancellors said the strike had been illegalised by the Industrial Court and they would, therefore, be free to sack anyone who failed to report to duty.
The two University unions however have urged all its members to remain strong and not to be bullied by the threats.
Dock workers have now threatened to down tools in solidarity with striking teachers if the government does not give in to their demands.
Dock Workers Union general secretary Simon Sang said that an Industrial Court declaration that a strike is illegal does not necessarily mean that the concerned party should not go on strike.
He said Article 41 of the constitution gives a worker the right to strike legally or illegally.
‘We give the government seven days to resolve the issue or else we mobilise all workers countrywide for solidarity support,’ said Sang.
Meanwhile, in Nigeria the masses are stirring and demanding that the oil is nationalised and used to benefit the Nigerian people while in Egypt a massive new strike wave of the working class has begun against President Mursi, who is being called Mubarak with a beard.
In fact all over Africa the working class and the youth are on the march. Now is the time to build the Fourth International throughout Africa to lead the struggle for the African socialist revolution and a Socialist United States of Africa, the only form of organisation that will be able to guarantee that the colossal wealth of Africa goes to its people not to international capital.