Tag: Marikana Massacre

  • What is the ANC and Where is the Left in South Africa?

    About a month ago I stood with some 200 striking farm workers in South Africa’s Hex River Valley, a rich agricultural region that produces table grapes for export. The workers were on strike against severe pay cuts and outsourcing, which came about when a major fruit export company took over the farm from its previous … Keep reading »

  • The Marikana Massacre and the South African State’s Low Intensity War Against the People

    The massacre of the Marikana/Lonmin workers has inserted itself within South Africa’s national consciousness, not so much through the analysis, commentary and reporting in its wake. Instead, it has been the power of the visual images of police armed with awesome fire power gunning down these workers, together with images of bodies lying defeated and … Keep reading »

  • The Marikana Massacre: A Turning Point?

    The massacre of 34, and almost certainly more, striking mineworkers at Marikana (together with more than 80 injured) on 16 August has sent waves of shock and anger across South Africa, rippling around the world. It could prove a decisive turning-point in our country’s post-apartheid history. Marikana is a town situated in barren veld, dry … Keep reading »

  • The Massacre of Our Illusions … And the Seeds of Something New

    The story of Marikana has so far been painted shallowly as an inter-union spat. In the first few days after the fateful Thursday and the shock and horror of watching people being massacred on TV there have correctly been howls of anger and grief. Of course no one wants to take responsibility because to do … Keep reading »

  • Echoes of the Past: Marikana, Cheap Labour and the 1946 Miners Strike

    On August 4, 1946 over one thousand miners assembled in Market Square in Johannesburg, South Africa. No hall in the town was big enough to hold them, and no one would have rented one to them anyway. The miners were members of the African Mine Worker’s Union (AMWU), a non-European union which was formed five … Keep reading »