Dissident and expelled union activists started a new union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union. The AMCU placed a pay demand for rock drillers (who are the core of this strike and do the hardest work underground). The union's support in the Lonmin mines shot up to 19% by last month, and it embarked on an illegal strike to force its pay demand. The AMCU is also organising among poor workers and their shack settlement communities, which have become no-go zones for police. For these settlements, this is a strike against the state and the haves, not just a union matter.
Socialist Banner in many previous posts have exposed the ANC of continuing the apartheid-era exploitation of the working class and sadly concludes that the latest bloody episode in South Africa's class war vindicates our position. The Sowetan newspaper in an editorial also questioned what has changed since 1994. "It has happened in this country before where the apartheid regime treated black people like objects. It is continuing in a different guise now."
While workers bleed the capitalists response is predictable. World platinum prices rise and Lonmin shares slump