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The News Line: Editorial SA POLICE MASSACRE PLATINUM MINERS SOUTH AFRICAN workers have been shocked by the ANC government’s police force shooting dead over 30 miners at the Lonmin UK-owned platinum mine.

Fifty two years after the Sharpeville massacre by the apartheid police force in 1960, workers thought that they would never see such a day again.

However, it is now crystal clear that the ANC, with the end of apartheid, brought about a political revolution that just changed the complexion of the people who were running the country, but left capitalism intact, with international capital and the SA bosses and bankers still in charge and with the masses still living under the iron heel.

Decades after the end of apartheid the black masses still live in shanty towns, without sanitation, without a proper water supply and without proper amenities; the rural poor still have no land, and the working class is working as slave labour for low pay, often at the mercy of ‘labour brokers’, while their children attempt to learn in out of date, badly equipped schools.

The clash at the platinum mine makes it clear that the masses, who have waited for change, are waiting no longer and are taking their fate into their own hands.

However, the SA trade union leaders are still supporting the ANC and its capitalist policies and have refused to condemn the police or the government over the massacre.

Gideon du Plessis, general secretary of South African trade union Solidarity, said the country would suffer huge losses as a result of the clashes at the mine.

‘South Africa’s reputation as a stable investment destination is negatively affected by the violence, not only in the platinum industry but in general,’ he said.

The Solidarity leader is speaking up for the bosses not the workers with his business view attitude to what is happening. Of course all strikes and workers’ struggles are bad for business.

The truth of the matter is that the South African trade union leaders and the Communist Party have been in league with the ANC government for decades and continue to support it, despite the terrible sufferings of the working class and the poor.

On Thursday, Lonmin had said that the strike meant it would lose 15,000 ounces of platinum production, and as a result it is unlikely to meet its production target for the full year.

In fact it should be nationalised and put under workers’ control, as should the whole of the South African economy.

The ANC has refused to do this, and the outcome of this political betrayal is the police massacre of miners.

COSATU yesterday refused to condemn the police or the government. It condemned a breakaway trade union and ‘its use of violence and intimidation, and the illegal use of the COSATU logo, to give the entirely false impression that they are linked in some way with the federation.’

If there are breakaway unions with a mass following it is because COSATU has allowed the ANC to betray the black masses for decades.

The IndustriALL international union also blamed a ‘breakaway’ and is ‘demanding a full and thorough investigation from law enforcement agencies that leads to arrests and prosecution for those responsible.’

It added of the claim of the strikers for R12,500 a month: ‘These guys have taken the guise of a union that promises them R12,500 – which NUM adamantly says is unachievable for a rock driller.’

It says it all – they have the same attitude to the claim as the employer!

It is clear that new union leaders are required and that the South African workers must build their section of the International Committee of the Fourth International to organise the South African workers to carry out a socialist revolution to put an end to South African capitalism.


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