Lonmin forced to withdraw their sack threat!


UK-OWNED platinum mining giant Lonmin (the world’s third largest platinum producer) has been forced by the strength and defiance of the miners, supported by the entire South African working class, to withdraw its sack threat.

The brutal Lonmin bosses thought that after the massacre of 44 miners they could impose a reign of terror to force the miners back to work. But it is they who have been forced back by an extremely nervous South African ruling class and government.

The miners, who are currently earning between 4,000 and 5,000 rand ($484-$605) a month, say they want their salary increased to 12,500 rand ($1,512) and will not return to work until they get it.

Now the whole of the South African working class must come out alongside the Lonmin miners to win their wage claim, and to see that the mine and Lonmin as a whole is nationalised and put under workers’ control.

The Lonmin concession over mass sackings came after the ANC government, led by President Zuma, had felt the flames of revolution burning under it and all round it, and out of fear of revolution urged Lonmin to retreat.

A minister in Mr Zuma’s office, Collins Chabane, said Lonmin had agreed to suspend its ultimatum in talks with the government.

He added over local radio: ‘I think we need to try to temper the flare-up of emotions on all sides and try to find a reasonable solution to address the problems.’

The South African parliament was due to discuss the mass murder of 44 miners by the state’s police forces yesterday evening, including the authorisation of the killing by the police ministry and the government.

President Jacob Zuma’s declaration of a week of national mourning, along with a Commission of Inquiry, has been dismissed as too little too late to halt the mass revolutionary movement that has erupted.

The masses have given the ANC government, and the Communist Party-COSATU bloc, that constitutes its base, almost 20 years to deliver at least some major gains for the working class, the youth and the rural poor.

However, they have been disappointed and are now convinced that what has changed is the colour of the political and state apparatus, while the masters, the bosses and bankers of international capitalism remain in charge, with the ANC and its trade union leaders willing servants.

Now the working class has erupted, and the masses who have been betrayed and super-exploited by the bosses and bankers are just beginning to have their say.

The Lonmin miners’ struggle spells the transformation of the South African political revolution – when the masses put the ANC into power – into a social revolution that will put the working class and its allies, the rural poor into power, with a workers and small farmers government.

The need of the hour is to build the South African section of the International Committee of the Fourth International into the leadership of the revolutionary masses of South African workers and youth.

The working class will be followed by millions of youth in the fight for a socialist future.

There must be huge changes in the South African trade unions and leaders who are the labour lieutenants of South African and international capital must be removed in the battle to replace the ANC government with a workers and small farmers government.

The South African revolution is going to inspire the workers and youth of all African states from the south to the north, east and to the west, to rise up or further develop the revolutions that are already under way in Tunisia and Egypt.

Africa will be ablaze with revolution form Cape Town to Cairo! Smash capitalism and drive imperialism out of Africa. Forward to the Socialist United States of Africa.