South Africa

South African miners mount new wave of wildcat strikes

By Thomas Gaist, 17 May 2013

In the second wildcat strike to break this week, miners at Amplat refused to go underground Thursday evening.

South African Marikana miners stage wildcat strike

By Patrick O’Connor, 15 May 2013

The main unions and the ANC government are creating the conditions for another massacre in Marikana.

Agang offers no alternative for South African working class to ANC

By Mike Jones, 26 March 2013

Agang, the new political formation established by former anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele, offers no alternative for the South African masses to the parties of big business.

WSWS launches new Afrikaans language section

14 March 2013

Afrikaans is the third most common home language in South Africa and is widely spoken and understood as a second or third language.

Police murder in South Africa

By Chris Marsden, 9 March 2013

Nine South African police officers have been charged with the murder of taxi driver Mido Macia.

South African police murder Mozambican taxi driver

By Mike Jones, 5 March 2013

Opposition grows to the killing of 27-year-old taxi driver, Mido Macia, by South African police on February 27.

Unrest breaks out again in South Africa’s mining sector

By Chris Marsden, 23 February 2013

The 18 February events could easily have escalated into a second Marikana massacre, when police killed 34 striking miners in August of 2012.

COSATU calls off farm workers strike in South Africa

By Joshua Lumet, 30 January 2013

The strike, which has led to the death of at least three workers, was ended last week pending a government announcement on a new minimum wage.

South African police fire on striking farm workers

By Joshua Lumet, 11 January 2013

Confrontations between striking farm workers and South African police and private security guards have left several people wounded and some 50 arrested.

African National Congress anoints the butchers of Marikana

By Chris Marsden, 24 December 2012

The election of Zuma and Ramaphosa is an endorsement of the massacre at Marikana and the ensuing brutal assault on striking miners.

Trade unions shut down South African farm workers strike

By Iqra Qalam and Jashua Lumet, 8 December 2012

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has called off a strike in the Western Cape Province in a bid to contain growing anger and resistance among farm workers.

The failure of land reform in South Africa

By Iqra Qalam and Joshua Lumet, 6 December 2012

The failure of the agrarian reform policies of the African National Congress has exposed the bourgeois nationalist liberation movement’s inability to resolve the land question.

South African farmworkers speak on issues in strike

By Joshua Lumet and Iqra Qalam, 26 November 2012

The trade unions and the political establishment are seeking to demobilize the farmworkers’ struggle, which follows and has been motivated by the eruption of strikes in the mining industries.

South African farm workers’ strike spreads

By Joshua Lumet and Iqra Qalam, 21 November 2012

The three-week-long strike by farm workers in the fertile farmlands of the Boland in South Africa has now spread to 24 different areas and has led to further violent clashes with police.

South African farm workers’ strikes inspired by events at Marikana

By Joshua Lumet and Iqra Qalam, 16 November 2012

Militant struggles among South Africa’s impoverished workers have spread to the Western Cape province’s farms, following on months of upheavals in the mining industry.

Charges of evidence tampering at South African mine massacre inquiry

By Julie Hyland, 12 November 2012

The inquiry into the South African police massacre of striking miners at Marikana heard evidence that police tampered with the scene to justify the killings.

Unions collude in repression as South Africa’s strike wave ebbs

By Chris Marsden, 5 November 2012

The South African Police Service is waging a brutal campaign of intimidation facilitated by the suffocation of strikes in the mining sector by the COSATU.

South African miners shot dead by security

By Bill Van Auken, 1 November 2012

Mine security guards shot and killed two striking coal miners in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday, amid continuing tensions and clashes in South Africa’s mining sector.

Striking South African miners oppose rally called by official unions

By Julie Hyland, 29 October 2012

Saturday’s rally by South Africa’s COSATU union federation and the National Union of Mineworkers only exposed the hostility of broad masses of workers toward the official unions.

South Africa's unions use mass sackings and murder to suppress miners

By Chris Marsden, 26 October 2012

Mass sackings, police intimidation and brutality are being employed in an effort to bring the wave of strikes in South Africa’s mines to a close.

Strike leaders arrested following testimony before Marikana massacre inquiry

By Chris Marsden, 26 October 2012

Four miners who testified Tuesday before the Farlam Commission into the Marikana massacre were immediately arrested by police. They are to be charged with murder.

South African miners defy repression

By Chris Marsden, 20 October 2012

Tens of thousands of South African workers remain in struggle and a new strike by platinum miners at Lonmin’s operation in Marikana delivered a blow to efforts to stem the working class upsurge.

President Zuma calls on trade unions, state forces to end South Africa’s strike wave

By Chris Marsden, 20 October 2012

The main instruments of Zuma and the African National Congress for suppressing the mass strike movement are the Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers.

Strikes continue in South Africa amid deepening repression

By Robert Stevens, 15 October 2012

Tens of thousands of South Africa miners remain on strike in wildcat action, following a breakdown in talks between trade unions and management.

Strikes spread across South Africa despite mass sackings

By Robert Stevens, 11 October 2012

In the face of a growing wave of walkouts by workers across South Africa, mining companies are announcing mass layoffs of striking employees.

Silicosis rampant in South Africa’s mines

By Eric Graham, 9 October 2012

South Africa’s miners are among the workers worst affected by silicosis in the world.

South African unions, government seek to quell spreading wildcat strikes

By Joseph Kishore, 8 October 2012

The state and the unions are attempting to gain control of a spreading wave of strikes that have erupted across South Africa.

12,000 miners fired as South African strike wave grows

By Bill Van Auken, 6 October 2012

Anglo American Platinum fired 12,000 striking South African miners Friday as the transnational corporations, the ANC government and the COSATU union federation sought to quell a growing wave of wildcat strikes.

COSATU federation leader expresses fear of social explosion in South Africa

By Eric Graham, 2 October 2012

In the midst of an escalating wave of wildcat strike action by miners, South Africa’s biggest trade union federation, COSATU, convened its 11th national congress.

South Africa’s strike wave hits whole mining sector, spreads to transport

By Chris Marsden, 28 September 2012

The strike wave that began at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine is now engulfing South Africa’s platinum, gold and coal mining industries and has spread to transport and other sectors.

Miners’ strikes add to fears of South African economic downturn

By Jordan Shilton, 26 September 2012

The African National Congress government has reaffirmed its determination to pursue right wing economic and social “reforms.”

ANC President Zuma authorises use of South African army against miners

By Julie Hyland, 22 September 2012

As miners at the Lonmin platinum producer in Marikana returned to work Thursday, President Jacob Zuma authorised the domestic deployment of the military to deal with continued unrest in the mining sector.

Marikana massacre: France’s NPA sows illusions in South African government, unions

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 21 September 2012

It took three weeks for France’s New Anti-capitalist Party to write on the massacre of 34 South African miners on August 16 at the Marikana mine.

Political and historical issues in the South African miners’ revolt

By Julie Hyland, 20 September 2012

The massacre of striking South African platinum miners and the spreading confrontation between miners and the ANC regime have exposed the reactionary character of racial and nationalist politics.

South Africa: ANC orders security clampdown against miners’ revolt

By Julie Hyland, 17 September 2012

A march by hundreds of striking miners in South Africa’s platinum mining belt was blocked and dispersed by police on Sunday.

State of alert declared as unrest spreads in South Africa

By Chris Marsden, 13 September 2012

The South African army has been put on a state of high alert, amidst an escalating strike-wave involving platinum and gold miners.

More ANC leading figures embroiled in gold mines asset stripping scandal

By Eric Graham, 12 September 2012

The liquidation of the South African company Pamodzi Gold Limited led to the awarding of rights to the Orkney and Grootvlei gold mines to Aurora Empowerment Systems (AES) in 2009.

Strikes spread in South African mines

By Kate Randall, 11 September 2012

Gold Fields Ltd.’s KDC gold mine has been hit by strike of 15,000 workers, the second wildcat action at the company in less than a week.

South African miners speak on Marikana massacre

By Iqra Qalam, 11 September 2012

More than three weeks after the Marikana massacre, families are still searching for their missing siblings and husbands in hospitals and jails.

South Africa: Corruption exposed at Orkney and Grootvlei mines

By Eric Graham, 10 September 2012

Investigations into the Aurora Empowerment Systems, which has not paid workers at the Orkney and Grootvlei mines for years, have revealed a tangled and dirty web of criminality.

South Africa’s miners and the fear of “contagion”

By Bill Van Auken, 5 September 2012

The miners’ struggles have evoked a “fear of contagion” in ruling circles, as the issues confronting this oppressed layer of workers resonate not only in South Africa, but internationally.

Four South African miners shot as strikes spread after Marikana massacre

By Alex Lantier, 4 September 2012

Four gold miners were hospitalized after being shot at Gold One’s Modder East operation yesterday in South Africa.

Funerals of slain South African miners held as unrest spreads

By Julie Hyland, 3 September 2012

Burials for most of the 34 platinum miners massacred by police on August 16 took place Saturday.

South Africa after the Marikana massacre

By Chris Marsden, 1 September 2012

The police massacre of striking miners at Marikana is a watershed for post-apartheid South Africa.

South Africa to prosecute strikers targeted by police massacre at Marikana

By Alex Lantier, 31 August 2012

In an act of naked class justice, South Africa is using an apartheid-era law to lay bogus murder charges against striking miners targeted by police in the Marikana massacre.

More join South African strike as autopsies show miners were shot in the back

By Julie Hyland, 29 August 2012

Many more have joined the strike at South Africa’s Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, scene of the brutal police massacre of 34 workers on August 16.

Rising incidence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in South Africa

By Eric Graham, 28 August 2012

The increase in the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in school-aged children in the Wellington area of the Western Cape is bound up with the appalling levels of social inequality in South Africa.

South Africa’s day of mourning fails to stem anger over Marikana massacre

By Julie Hyland, 25 August 2012

Anger continues to mount over the August 16 massacre of 34 striking miners at South Africa’s Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana despite official efforts to lower tensions.

The unions, the pseudo-left and the South Africa massacre

By Joseph Kishore, 24 August 2012

The massacre of 34 striking workers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in South Africa has cast into sharp relief the role of the official trade unions.

South African platinum miners’ strike spreads

By David Walsh, 23 August 2012

The strike by thousands of South African platinum miners, which led to the police murder of 34 workers August 16 at Lonmin’s Marikana mine, is spreading to other companies in the industry.

South African miners defiant in face of government, company threats

By Bill Van Auken, 21 August 2012

Four days after 34 of their comrades were massacred by heavily armed police, striking South African platinum miners defied a company ultimatum to return to work or be fired.

French Communist Party backs killing of South African miners

By Alex Lantier, 21 August 2012

The World Socialist Web Site notes with contempt the French Communist Party’s defense of the massacre of 34 striking South African miners by police at Marikana.

South African miners continue strike in aftermath of massacre

By Chris Marsden, 20 August 2012

South African platinum miners have continued their strike in the aftermath of the August 16 police massacre of 34 of their comrades in a hail of bullets that left another 78 wounded.

South Africa’s mine massacre

By Bill Van Auken, 18 August 2012

The massacre of striking platinum miners in South Africa has laid bare the irreconcilable conflict between the working class on the one hand and the ruling ANC and the unions allied to it on the other.

Letter from a South African reader on the Marikana miners massacre

18 August 2012

The WSWS received this letter from a reader on Thursday’s police massacre of striking miners in South Africa.

South African police massacre striking miners

By Bill Van Auken, 17 August 2012

South African paramilitary police sent by the ANC government gunned down as at least 30 striking miners.

Forty arrested at Cape Town Occupy

By Iqra Qalam, 31 January 2012

Forty people were arrested last Friday in a brutal police crackdown on an Occupy Rondebosch Common demonstration in Cape Town, South Africa.

Social tensions rise as South African economy slows

By Zac Hambides, 17 January 2012

With real unemployment at 36 percent, social tensions are mounting in South Africa amid a marked economic slowdown.

South Africa’s ANC at 100: A balance sheet of bourgeois nationalism

By Bill Van Auken, 11 January 2012

The centenary celebration by South Africa’s ruling African National Congress provides a fitting occasion for a balance sheet on the character and fate of bourgeois nationalist movements.

Municipal Workers join South African strike wave

By Susan Garth, 30 August 2011

Municipal workers organised in the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) have joined South Africa’s continuing strike wave.

Record level of strikes in South Africa

By Susan Garth, 1 August 2011

The number of days lost in strikes across South Africa approached 30 million at the end of July.

State repression stepped up as strike wave grows in South Africa

By Susan Garth, 18 July 2011

Engineering workers in South Africa are in the second week of a strike calling for a 13 percent pay rise.

Letter from South Africa

Malema prophesies ‘nationalisation’ of mining

14 September 2010

South Africa’s black economic empowerment legislation has become the preferred route to riches for the ANC elite while the majority continue to struggle.

China-South Africa deals highlight great-power rivalry in Africa

By Zac Hambides, 13 September 2010

To the consternation of the Western powers, the Chinese regime is seeking to exploit Africa’s vast natural resources, cheap labour and new markets via South Africa, which is the largest investor in the continent, outside of the US and Europe.

International lessons of the South African public service strike

By Ann Talbot, 13 September 2010

Union leaders were chased out of a meeting in Johannesburg when they told striking public service workers that their three-week strike was over.

South African unions attempt to impose settlement on striking public service workers

By Ann Talbot, 9 September 2010

The three-week strike by 1.3 million South African public service workers, including teachers, hospital workers and civil servants, ended on Monday when unions instructed the strikers to return to work pending further discussions.

Class struggle erupts in South Africa

By Ann Talbot, 27 August 2010

The strike by 1.3 million public service workers in South Africa represents a significant escalation of the international class struggle in response to the global recession and the austerity measures that governments have adopted worldwide.

South Africa: ANC government uses police, army and courts against strikers

By Ann Talbot, 23 August 2010

Strikers at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto and Helen Joseph hospital in Johannesburg were attacked by South African police using water cannon and rubber bullets last week.

More than one million public workers strike in South Africa

By Hiram Lee, 19 August 2010

More than one million public workers in South Africa went out on strike on Wednesday demanding higher wages.

South Africa: Riot police attack World Cup stewards pay protests

By Robert Stevens, 16 June 2010

South African riot police respond to protests by thousands of stewards at the soccer World Cup, with tear gas attacks and rubber bullets.

Book bares Israeli nuclear arms deals with apartheid regime

By Bill Van Auken, 25 May 2010

Israel agreed to sell nuclear arms to South Africa’s apartheid regime in the 1970s, according to a book published today. The revelation has surfaced at an inconvenient time for the US as it campaigns for increased sanctions against Iran.

South African transport workers strike hits rail, ports

By our reporter, 14 May 2010

Workers at state-owned Transnet, the logistics company that runs the rail network and ports facilities in South Africa, are on strike.

Murder of white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanche destabilises South Africa

By Brian Smith, 12 April 2010

Eugene Terreblanche, a white supremacist leader in South Africa, was murdered in his sleep on his farm outside Ventersdorp, 100 miles west of Johannesburg, following a dispute over wages with a young man and a youth in his employ.

Fifty years since the Sharpeville Massacre: The nature of post-Apartheid South Africa

By Brian Smith, 29 March 2010

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre, in which 69 people were gunned down by the police during a peaceful protest in South Africa.

South Africa 20 years after Mandela’s release

By Ann Talbot, 15 February 2010

On February 2, 1990, Nelson Mandela walked free from Victor Verster prison, heralding the end of the apartheid system. Two decades later, however, South Africa still ranks among the most unequal societies in the world.

South Africa: Zuma appoints cabinet to please investors

By Chris Talbot, 16 May 2009

New South African President Jacob Zuma has appointed a business-friendly cabinet.

South Africa: Zuma’s victory expresses deepening class tensions

By Chris Talbot, 30 April 2009

The election victory of the African National Congress and its leader, Jacob Zuma, is a distorted expression of powerful social tensions within South Africa.

South Africa: Charges dropped against Zuma in run-up to election

By Chris Talbot, 20 April 2009

In the latest development in the longstanding legal conflict within South Africa’s ruling elite, corruption charges have been dropped against African National Congress President Jacob Zuma.

South Africa: Zuma faces corruption charges after court reverses previous judgment

By Patrick O'Keefe, 2 February 2009

The Supreme Court of Appeals has effectively reinstated criminal charges against African National Congress (ANC) President Jacob Zuma.

South Africa: Behind the ANC breakaway

By Chris Talbot, 19 November 2008

The decision of a number of former leaders to break away from the African National Congress and to set up a new party is the latest manifestation of the bitter conflict and infighting that has developed in South Africa’s ruling party.

A letter on Canada, South Africa and deadly asbestos

1 November 2008

The following letter was sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to the article, “Canadian Government defends export of asbestos to poorer nations.”

South African President Thabo Mbeki resigns

By Ann Talbot, 3 October 2008

President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa has resigned and been replaced by Kgalema Motlanthe, reflecting growing divisions within the ruling ANC and creating political uncertainty in South Africa and neighbouring countries.

South Africa: Court case against ANC President Zuma withdrawn

Zuma and the South African working class

By Patrick O’Keefe, 18 September 2008

On Friday, September 12, the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled that the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to recharge African National Congress President Jacob Zuma on fraud and corruption charges was invalid.

South Africa: General strike against price rises

By Chris Talbot, 7 August 2008

A general strike brought the South African economy to a standstill on Wednesday. The South African Congress of Trade Unions (COSATU) called its two million members out on a one-day strike in protest of rising prices of food and fuel.

Letter from South Africa

Xenophobia: A direct result of failed ANC economic policies

1 August 2008

The xenophobic attacks taking place in different parts of South Africa have gripped local and foreign media attention. Graphic details are portrayed in the media of “mobs” attacking immigrants, looting, raping and killing. It appears as if the intensity of the hatred for the immigrant community has caught everyone by complete surprise.

South Africa: Anti-immigrant violence subsides but leaves humanitarian crisis

By Ann Talbot, 7 June 2008

An uneasy calm has descended on the South African townships and squatter camps after three weeks of anti-foreigner violence that left more than 50 dead, 650 seriously injured and an estimated 80,000 displaced. Tens of thousands are thought to have fled the country. Others are housed in temporary shelters, unable to return to their homes in South Africa for fear of further attacks or to their country of origin.Those who have been displaced are still housed in churches, community halls and police stations that opened their doors to them at the height of the attacks.

Violent attacks on immigrants in South Africa

By Ann Talbot, 21 May 2008

At least 32 people have been killed in violent attacks on immigrants in South Africa. It is reported that upwards of 6,000 people have sought shelter in police stations and churches.

South Africa and the global economic downturn

By Latief Parker, 7 March 2008

In South Africa, we swing wildly between believing that everything is doomed or imagining that the financial sun will always shine. Because of our mineral resources, it often seems—for a short period at least—that whatever the financial agonies of the rest of the world, there will always be a silver—or to be more exact—a golden lining for us. In reality, it is easy to trace the political impact of the global economic crises within South Africa.

South Africa hit by power cuts

By Chris Talbot, 29 January 2008

For more than two weeks, South African cities have suffered electricity power cuts lasting several hours. The mainly black townships have often had power cuts in the past, but the present round of blackouts is affecting all areas, including those of the mainly white middle class.

South Africa: conflict in ANC signals deepening social tensions

By Chris Talbot, 22 December 2007

The election of Jacob Zuma as president of the African National Congress (ANC) over current South African President Thabo Mbeki expresses the growing social tensions in South Africa. But neither Mbeki’s nor Zuma’s faction has any answers to the problems that face the mass of the population.

Zuma’s election heralds instability

22 December 2007

On December 14, more than 4,000 African National Congress (ANC) delegates in the city of Polokwane in Limpopo Province cast their votes at the ANC’s 52nd annual conference to decide between the two candidates standing for president of the organisation, South African President Thabo Mbeki and ANC Deputy President Jacob Zuma.

National miners strike in South Africa

By Barry Mason, 7 December 2007

Miners belonging to the 250,000-strong South African National Union of Miners (NUM) took one-day strike action on Tuesday, December 4. The strike, the first national walkout by miners since the bringing down of the apartheid regime, was over the country’s appalling safety record. So far this year, over 200 miners have died at work as a result of accidents, exceeding last year’s total of 199.

Behind Mbeki’s sacking of South Africa’s deputy health minister

By Chris Talbot, 23 August 2007

The sacking by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa of his deputy health minister, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, has produced outrage amongst AIDS activists in South Africa and consternation among political commentators internationally.

South Africa: COSATU calls off public service strike

By Barbara Slaughter, 14 July 2007

The longest public service strike in South African history has been called off by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) after 28 days. The dispute began on June 1, when workers from 17 unions took all-out strike action in support of a demand for a wage increase of 12 percent across the board. The final settlement was for a 7.5 percent raise and increases in housing and health benefits.

Tutu, COSATU and the “powder keg” of South Africa

By our South African correspondent, 14 December 2004

A vicious spat between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the African National Congress (ANC) has erupted in the wake of the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture delivered by Tutu on November 29.

United Nations report highlights growing inequality in South Africa

By our South African correspondent, 21 May 2004

The tenth anniversary of the end of apartheid and the first democratic elections in South Africa has been widely celebrated throughout the country. The government has used the occasion to congratulate itself on its performance in eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, and generally producing “a better life for all.” However, a report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) presents a different picture to that painted by politicians and government spokesmen.

ANC wins South African elections in low voter turnout

By Chris Talbot, 17 April 2004

The African National Congress (ANC) gained a clear lead in South Africa’s April 14 general elections, taking nearly 70 percent of the votes cast—more than the 66.4 percent in 1999 and 64 percent in 1994.

South Africa: Farmworkers murdered by employers

By our correspondent, 3 March 2004

The murder of two farmworkers by their employers has placed the spotlight on the awful plight of this section of the South African working class.

South Africa: Court ruling forces only tactical retreat over AIDS drugs

By Barry Mason, 26 April 2002

Following a five-hour cabinet meeting on April 17, the South African government announced it would make antiretroviral drugs available to victims of rape and would give the drug Nevirapine to pregnant women in order to prevent mother to child HIV infection.

South Africa: Judge exonerates Dr. Death

By John Farmer, 23 April 2002

The last major trial relating to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) ended in a failure to prosecute on April 11. Dr. Wouter Basson, known as “Dr. Death”, a chemical weapons expert and head of germ warfare programme in the South African army during the Apartheid era, was cleared of 46 counts of murder, fraud and drug dealing. It was the longest and most expensive trial in South Africa’s history. South African government investigators had spent six years investigating Basson’s activities and called 153 witnesses during the case.