Over the last few days, the events in Burkina Faso have been moving at lightning speed. Just weeks before elections were due to be held, the most reactionary wing of the regime, the Presidential Protection Regiment (RSP), overthrew the transitional government in a coup. This has interrupted the country’s so-called transitional period and it has thrown the regime into complete chaos.
Burkina Faso’s Presidential Protection Regiment (RSP) has carried out an overnight coup in the capital Ouagadougou.
The revolutionary overthrow of Blaise Compaoré on 31 October 2014 was a fundamental turning point for Burkina Faso. It brought an entire country to its feet. It released pressures which have been accumulating for decades. After being under the jackboot of the Compaoré counterrevolution for 27 years, the masses of the “Land of the Upright People” have dramatically entered the stage of history. The transitional government which filled the gap left by Compaoré’s departure has been a regime of turmoil and crises. At bottom, this is as a result of pressures from the mass movement. Now, after months of turmoil, the ruling class is desperately trying to channel the situation into some kind of bourgeois democratic order. But the elections, scheduled for 11 October, will change nothing fundamental for the masses. It will only serve as a new stage for the struggle.
On 25 June year, President Jacob Zuma released the report of the Farlam Commission, which was appointed by the government to investigate the killings of 44 people at the Lonmin mine in Marikana in August 2012. This includes the massacre of mineworkers on 16 August that year, when the police opened fire on the striking workers, killing 34 and injuring 78 more.
Over the recent period, beneath the appearance of relative calm in the South African Communist Party (SACP), serious divisions have begun to open up. These divisions are manifesting themselves along fault lines which have existed for long periods of the party's existence. Now, under the impact of the raging organic crisis of capitalism, the turbulence which accompanies it, the resultant instability in the ANC-led Tripartite Alliance and the emergence of formations to the left of the ANC, the cracks in the party have begun to open wider and wider. The SACP now finds itself struggling to fight for its relevance. Sooner or later all the divisions must burst into the open, further destabilizing the party and the already turbulent alliance.
Recent comments by South Africa’s most powerful business tycoon, Johann Rupert, gives interesting and penetrating insights into the current state of mind of the bourgeoisie. Rupert is clearly very disturbed by the current state of affairs, even admitting that they are keeping him awake at night.
In a highly significant event, delegates to the 15th National Congress of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have voted to remove the incumbent general secretary, Frans Baleni and replace him with a clear left wing candidate, David Sipunzi. The result, which came as shock to many, is a heavy blow to the class collaborationist right wing of COSATU, the main trade union federation. This shakeup will have wide ramifications not only in the trade union movement, but also in the Tripartite Alliance.
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