No to Zuma or Ramaphosa –the South African workers must take the power!

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THE SOUTH African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) has noted the shocking testimony given to City Press by police officers who were among those at Marikana on 16 August 2012 when 34 mineworkers were killed and 112 injured,’ SAFTU said in a statement issued on Monday February 12th.

It added: ‘This is the day the ANC government chose which class interests it will serve between workers demanding a living wage and a minimum wage of R12,500 and the mining oligarchs exploiting the working class. Of course, the state chose the side of the ruling class and killed workers mercilessly. ‘The officers’ evidence confirms beyond any doubt that this event was premeditated murder, ordered, planned and approved by police, employers and government. It totally demolishes any argument that the police were acting spontaneously or in self-defence.’

The statement adds: ‘SAFTU demands the immediate arrest of all those in government, Lonmin and police management who planned, organised and approved this murder. They included former National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega, former Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, former Mining Minister Susan Shabangu and former President Jacob Zuma, who must be arrested and charged with murder.’

The statement continues: ‘Cyril Ramaphosa, using his influence in the ANC, called for the “concomitant action” and labelled the strike “plainly dastardly criminal”. So said a man who had championed the rights of mineworkers before, but once he crossed the class divide and participated in the class oppression and exploitation made a 360 degree turn. He too can’t escape with a lousy apology. He is as guilty as those who, under pressure from him, organised the brutal killing of workers.’

The statement concludes: ‘As we face new threats in the Labour Relations Amendment Bill to use compulsory arbitration to curb workers’ constitutional right to withdraw their labour, it is more vital than ever to stand up and fight for workers’ rights. They are workers and not slaves.’

The statement comes as the ANC, the liberation party that has betrayed the workers and turned into the bosses’ champion, seeks to force the completely discredited and allegedly completely corrupt President Zuma out of office, to forestall a revolutionary eruption of the black masses that will not stop at removing Zuma.

President Zuma has been given an ultimatum to go, to be replaced by the ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa. He is a black ex-liberation fighter turned billionaire, a real servant of international capitalism, who championed the mass murder of the Marikana miners by the police killers of the ANC government. Getting away with replacing Zuma with Ramaphosa would be a victory for the bosses and for international capital which wants to continue with its ruthless exploitation of the black working class and its plans for new ruthless anti-union laws. The working class must now actively intervene in the ongoing power struggle.

SAFTU and all sympathetic trade unions must continue the mass movement that brought down Mugabe in Zimbabwe by calling a general strike to bring Zuma down, and bar the way to the billionaire Ramaphosa by the working class taking power.

The working class will establish the dictatorship of the proletariat in place of the ANC’s dictatorship of capital, and put all those responsible for the Marikana massacre on trial. A workers’ government will expropriate the bosses and the bankers and bring in workers’ management of industry in a planned socialist economy, as well as a widespread properly organised land reform.

There is no doubt that the working class of Africa will be inspired by such a South African revolutionary example to take the revolutionary road, including completing the revolution that the workers of Zimbabwe began by removing Mugabe. This is the only way forward!