It is over a month since Lonmin platinum miners in Marikana, South Africa, walked out in a wildcat strike. They have been attacked and vilified; watching as 34 of their number were killed by police on August 16, a majority of them in cold blood, and 270 arrested, charged and often tortured while in custody. The leaders of the NUM, the bosses and the state have signed a “peace accord” behind the backs of the miners and they have been repeatedly given ultimatums by the company. Yet still the strike is ongoing and the miners are continuing to demand a wage increase to R12,500. They are an example of worker militancy and resilience and one which is spreading to other sections of South Africa's mining proletariat.

It has been almost four weeks since miners at Marikana went on strike, marching alone without any leadership, demanding a genuine wage increase from R4000 to R12500. Since then there has been all sorts of pressure, from all leaders, to end the strike in the midst of the current global recession. But the workers are intent on not going back to work till their demands are met, they are resolute in their demands and are not prepared to back down.

Sudan until the recent secession of its southern part was Africa’s biggest country. It is mostly known and in particular portrayed as such in the world media, for its wars, genocides, organised famine, and ethnic, religious and tribal strife. But revolutions tend to cut through the old divisions fostered by the sitting dictators, old colonialist powers and new imperialist forces. This is exactly what is happening today in Sudan since the beginning of the ‘Sudanese spring’.

On Monday, September 3, most of the miners arrested during the Marikana massacre were released after an outcry of protest forced the state prosecutor to withdraw charges of murder against them. The strike at Lonmin continues as well as strikes and protests at other mines. The incident has clearly revealed the real content of the struggle between left and right in the run up to the ANC Manguang Conference.

Eighteen years since the end of Apartheid – and the dawn of ‘freedom and democracy’ -  the  brutal killings of 34 miners by the police in the Lonmin owned platinum mines at Marikana last Thursday has exposed the stark reality of the suffering and agony of the South African proletariat. This shooting is reminiscent of the harrowing Sharpeville massacre of sixty black protesters in 1960 by the then racist Apartheid regime.

The fatal shooting of 34 striking miners at the Marikana mine near Johannesburg has met with outrage. A crowd of defiant strikers were gunned down in cold blood in a hail of police gunfire that brought back memories of the Apartheid era, of Sharpeville, Soweto and the struggles of the 1980s. A further ten people have been killed prior to this massacre and 234 have been arrested.

Following the declaration of independence by South Sudan – which is dependent on financial and military aid from American imperialism – tensions between Khartoum and Juba have been steadily ramped up over the past year and have brought death and destruction both sides of the border. Into the high-octane mix of mass land grabs by foreign capital, which in turn places an even greater strain on the land available for both settled farmers and nomadic herders, are thrown heavily armed militias on both sides of the border and a brutal struggle for control over the oil of Sudan amidst the wider regional struggle of American and Chinese capital.

There has been much hype around the discussion on the policy document of the African National Congress, titled The Second Transition?: Building a National Democratic Society and the balance of forces in 2012. There has been much discussion around the title of the document rather than its content.

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