— The Erimtan Angle —

I have been hearing reports of this for the past week: ‘In other news Thursday, nearly a week of labor violence in South Africa intensified as police fired on striking platinum miners, killing as many as 18 workers. Also, officials in Congo confirmed that a mining landslide killed at least 60 gold miners (16 August 2012)’.

In the New York Times, Lydia Polgreen writes that the South African “police fired on machete-wielding workers engaged in a wildcat strike at a platinum mine here on Thursday, [16 August 2012, ] leaving a field strewed with bodies and a deepening fault line between the governing African National Congress and a nation that, 18 years after the end of apartheid, is increasingly impatient with deep poverty, rampant unemployment and yawning inequality. In a scene replayed endlessly on television that reminded some South Africans of the days when the police of the apartheid government opened fire on protesters, heavily armed officers shot into a charging crowd of workers who walked off the job last Friday, [10 August, ] demanding higher wages. The strike has pitted the country’s largest mine workers union, which is closely allied with the governing A.N.C., against a radical upstart union demanding sharp increases in pay and faster action to improve the grim living and working standards for miners”.[1]

 


[1] Lydia Polgreen, “Mine Strike Mayhem Stuns South Africa as Police Open Fire” The New York Times (16 August 2012). http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/17/world/africa/south-african-police-fire-on-striking-miners.html?_r=1.

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