We condemn attacks by the state on the miners’ strike

Workers International Vanguard Party condemns the brutal attacks by the police and the army on the striking mineworkers on Sat 15th Sept 2012. This shows that the state is the executive arm of the mining corporations like Anglo American, whose plunder of the wealth of the region is now coming under question from the exploited masses.

It is on record that the mining corporations are stealing R600bn every year. Why are the police not arresting the mine bosses? Why is the National Treasury silent on this? Clearly such mass theft by the capitalists is not regarded as a ‘threat to the economy’, but when workers ask for a piece of bread, a fraction of a percent of the real profits of the bosses, this is regarded as a major crime.

What is needed is self-defence committees among the mineworkers, to defend against the attacks by this rogue state. Mineworkers should be as steadfast as ever to gather delegates from all mines to prepare an industry wide strike, to force the bosses to stop stealing.  The mass theft by the bosses is the reason why our youth are unemployed, why millions live in brick shacks or other squalor, why many die of hunger and starvation wages. The mine bosses should be arrested and called on to return all the wealth they stole over the years.

We also condemn attempts by the state and the bourgeois media to portray the Democratic Socialist Movement, DSM, as the instigator of the mine strike. This is a red herring. The miners strike is independent, no political force is leading them; the mineworkers are drawing the lessons from decades of betrayals by their union leadership who act as shopstewards of the bosses to suppress workers demands. The capitalist system commits silent Marikanas every day- how many die of hunger every day amid the wealth that is concentrated in the hands of the few capitalists. This is the issue. If the DSM, like many others, are supporting the strikers, we can but salute this. The mineworkers will make up their own mind; why is the press uncritical of the role of the parliamentarians, the union leaders, the church, the CCMA, who all unite against the workers, asking them to surrender to the bosses, to surrender to slavery and a life of early death from disease, to a life in a shack next to the mines, living next to raw sewage, this is what the official leaders want from the workers. The workers are right to reject this. If the big capitalists cannot respect the rights of workers on the mines, then they should hand over the keys, let the workers run the mines.

Forward to committees of the mineworkers and mineworker communities; let us set up solidarity committees in every working class area, every school, workplace. Let us stop the Marikanas once and for all. 

Nationalise the mines under workers control; then all unemployment and poverty will be abolished, in Southern Africa.