Southern Africa

Report charges US-Saudi arms sale ignored civilian casualties

By Bill Van Auken, 13 August 2020

The report on the $8.1 billion arms deal came amid fresh reports from Yemen of atrocities caused by US-supplied Saudi warplanes and munitions.

Africa’s one million coronavirus cases “the tip of the iceberg”

By Stephan McCoy, 8 August 2020

Between June and July, the number of cases grew by 500 percent indicating that COVID-19 is more widespread than the official figures suggest.

Zimbabwe: Social unrest grows amid economic collapse

By Stephan McCoy, 25 July 2020

Security forces have used COVID-19 lockdown laws to arrest nurses striking over poverty wages, appalling work conditions and lack of personal protective equipment.

ANC imposes back to work drive amid sharp rise in South Africa’s coronavirus cases

By Stephan McCoy, 20 June 2020

More than 84,000 people—25 percent of Africa’s confirmed cases—have now been infected with the virus, which has claimed the lives of almost 1,800 people.

African economies in free fall as coronavirus pandemic worsens

By Stephan McCoy, 11 April 2020

An African Union study predicts that some 20 million jobs are at risk in Africa due to the impact of the pandemic.

Africa’s elite build VIP hospitals for themselves, leaving workers to die

By Stephan McCoy, 8 April 2020

The response of the African ruling elite has been to cocoon itself in luxury, distancing from the impoverished masses it views with hostility and fear.

Africa’s confirmed cases rise to 7,600, as 314 die from the coronavirus

By Stephan McCoy, 4 April 2020

The response of African governments has been to ramp up the powers of the state and impose brutal lockdowns with virtually no mass testing, contact tracing or isolation taking place.

South Africa: State of national disaster declared as coronavirus hits and social tensions mount

By Stephan McCoy, 21 March 2020

The African National Congress (ANC) government lost weeks doing nothing to prepare for the inevitable arrival of the virus.

South African jazz musician Abdullah Ibrahim returns with The Balance

By Hiram Lee, 7 August 2019

This latest work stands out as an unusually open and humane collection of songs in a genre that has been lacking in those elements far too much in recent years.

South African elections

Ramaphosa elected to full term as president amid record low ANC vote

By Eddie Haywood, 13 May 2019

The election marks the first time in the ANC’s post-apartheid history that its vote has fallen below 60 percent.

Extreme social crisis ravages Mozambique in wake of Cyclone Idai

By Eddie Haywood, 30 March 2019

The devastation in the storm’s wake has produced a full-blown humanitarian crisis, exposing the impoverished conditions already present before Cyclone Idai hit.

Historic humanitarian disaster unfolds in southeast Africa in the wake of Cyclone Idai

By Niles Niemuth, 22 March 2019

The powerful storm has tragically exposed the dire social and economic conditions facing millions in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Madagascar.

Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa government clamps down on popular opposition

By Stephan McCoy, 18 February 2019

The ZANU-PF regime has responded to rising social discontent by unleashing the military.

Zimbabwe: Violence follows disputed re-election of President Mnangagwa

By Chris Marsden, 6 August 2018

Mnangagwa, who came to power in a coup against President Robert Mugabe last November, advances himself as the strongman required to restore the order necessary for resumed investment by the major corporations.

In South Africa speech deploring “exploding inequality”

Obama boasts: “I’m surprised how much money I got”

By Barry Grey, 19 July 2018

Obama may be surprised at his recent entry into the American financial oligarchy, but it’s not for lack of effort on his part to “join the club.”

The inauguration of Ramaphosa and the degeneration of the ANC

By Chris Marsden, 17 February 2018

Two things recommend Ramaphosa to the world’s bourgeoisie—his fabulous wealth and the fact that he earned it through a readiness to deal ruthlessly with the working class.

Cape Town, South Africa to become first city in the developed world to run out of water

By Genevieve Leigh, 29 January 2018

Local government in Cape Town, South Africa continues to implement drastic water saving measures in a last-ditch attempt to stave off a complete water shutoff.

Zimbabwe graphite miners strike at former German-owned mine

By Dietmar Henning, 8 January 2018

More than 200 miners in northern Zimbabwe have been on strike since the end of December protesting the fact they have not received their wages for more than a year.

South Africa’s ANC taps multi-millionaire ex-union chief Cyril Ramaphosa as leader

By Eddie Haywood, 21 December 2017

Since coming to power in 1994, the ANC has represented a corrupt layer of the black elite, ruling at the expense of the masses of workers.

IMF lays down the law for Zimbabwe post-Mugabe

By Chris Marsden, 27 November 2017

The International Monetary Fund is demanding that Zimbabwe curb “excessive government spending” and impose massive austerity cuts to “restore fiscal and debt sustainability.”

The way forward in Zimbabwe after Mugabe

By Chris Marsden, 24 November 2017

The goal of the new Zimbabwean president, Mnangagwa, is to impose an adrenalized version of the capitalist policies that have already created so much suffering.

Zimbabwe: Defying calls to step down, Mugabe faces impeachment

By Eddie Haywood, 21 November 2017

The Zimbabwean military appears anxious to avoid its intervention provoking any popular movement among the masses.

Campaign to force out Mugabe escalates in Zimbabwe

By Chris Marsden, 18 November 2017

It is China's support for the coup, rather than a supposed desire for a "democratic transformation," that accounts for the cautious reaction in the United States, Britain and other Western powers.

Military stage coup in Zimbabwe

By Chris Marsden, 16 November 2017

Zimbabwe’s army staged the coup in response to President Robert Mugabe’s November 6 sacking of his former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

South Africa: Police open fire on Modimolle water protests

By G.T. Maqhubela, 23 February 2016

Police opened fire last week with rubber bullets on residents who had gathered to protest against water shortages amid the worst drought in recent memory.

ANC in crisis as President Zuma struggles to reassure big capital

By G.T. Maqhubela, 16 February 2016

The Economic Freedom Fighters, led by Julius Malema, are making political capital from the crisis confronting the ANC by posturing as a “left” anti-corruption alternative.

South Africa’s politically connected elites profit amid power outages

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 29 January 2015

On Monday, ESKOM, the largest South African power utility, began implementing “managed” blackouts, cutting 2,000 megawatts from its grid.

South Africa: ANC and unions exploit popular anger over electronic toll collections

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 14 October 2014

In its efforts to limit its losses in the municipal elections due in 2016, the Gauteng ANC is relying on the services of COSATU.

South African miners speak: “We are striking so our children don’t also end up with nothing”

By our reporters, 29 May 2014

The World Socialist Web Site conducted an interview with two South African miners.

South Africa’s platinum strike in its 10th week

By Thabo Seseane Jr, 10 April 2014

Some 70,000 members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union have been on strike at the three largest platinum producers since January 23.

South African police evidence in tatters as Marikana Commission enters phase two

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 4 April 2014

At the Farlam Inquiry into the police murder of 34 striking miners in Marikana, evidence was heard that the victims were surrendering when they were killed.

ANC and its competitors stir up racialism in advance of South African elections

By Thabo Seseane Jr, 3 April 2014

Some 500 people joined an African National Congress march in Cape Town on March 26 to demand better sanitation, housing and land from the ruling Democratic Alliance.

North West police commissioner appears before inquiry into Marikana massacre

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 27 February 2014

Evidence belies the testimony of Police Commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo that the massacre at the Lonmin mine in 2012 was not a premeditated bloodbath.

South African unions vie for control of militant workers

Part one

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 20 February 2014

This is first in a two-part comment on the manoeuvres of South Africa’s trade unions to contain the growth of militancy in the working class.

Robert McBride appointed as South Africa police watchdog: The ANC’s “answer” to police brutality

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 11 February 2014

Police brutality is rising amid protests that show no sign of abating.

South Africa: Economic Freedom Fighters target voters fed up with African National Congress

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 29 January 2014

The EFF, led by ex-ANC leader Julius Malema, have targeted North West province's Madibeng municipality over water shortages amid the district’s worst drought in 80 years.

Security forces fire rubber bullets at striking South African miners

By Thomas Gaist, 24 May 2013

Police fired volleys of rubber bullets at striking South African miners at a mine owned by Lanxess Chrome Mining Ltd on Tuesday, near the city of Rustenburg.

South African police murder Mozambican taxi driver

By Mike Jones, 5 March 2013

Opposition grows to the killing of 27-year-old taxi driver, Mido Macia, by South African police on February 27.

South African police fire on striking farm workers

By Joshua Lumet, 11 January 2013

Confrontations between striking farm workers and South African police and private security guards have left several people wounded and some 50 arrested.

Trade unions shut down South African farm workers strike

By Iqra Qalam and Jashua Lumet, 8 December 2012

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has called off a strike in the Western Cape Province in a bid to contain growing anger and resistance among farm workers.

The failure of land reform in South Africa

By Iqra Qalam and Joshua Lumet, 6 December 2012

The failure of the agrarian reform policies of the African National Congress has exposed the bourgeois nationalist liberation movement’s inability to resolve the land question.

South African farmworkers speak on issues in strike

By Joshua Lumet and Iqra Qalam, 26 November 2012

The trade unions and the political establishment are seeking to demobilize the farmworkers’ struggle, which follows and has been motivated by the eruption of strikes in the mining industries.

South African farm workers’ strike spreads

By Joshua Lumet and Iqra Qalam, 21 November 2012

The three-week-long strike by farm workers in the fertile farmlands of the Boland in South Africa has now spread to 24 different areas and has led to further violent clashes with police.

South African farm workers’ strikes inspired by events at Marikana

By Joshua Lumet and Iqra Qalam, 16 November 2012

Militant struggles among South Africa’s impoverished workers have spread to the Western Cape province’s farms, following on months of upheavals in the mining industry.

Charges of evidence tampering at South African mine massacre inquiry

By Julie Hyland, 12 November 2012

The inquiry into the South African police massacre of striking miners at Marikana heard evidence that police tampered with the scene to justify the killings.

Unions collude in repression as South Africa’s strike wave ebbs

By Chris Marsden, 5 November 2012

The South African Police Service is waging a brutal campaign of intimidation facilitated by the suffocation of strikes in the mining sector by the COSATU.

South African miners shot dead by security

By Bill Van Auken, 1 November 2012

Mine security guards shot and killed two striking coal miners in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday, amid continuing tensions and clashes in South Africa’s mining sector.

Striking South African miners oppose rally called by official unions

By Julie Hyland, 29 October 2012

Saturday’s rally by South Africa’s COSATU union federation and the National Union of Mineworkers only exposed the hostility of broad masses of workers toward the official unions.

South Africa's unions use mass sackings and murder to suppress miners

By Chris Marsden, 26 October 2012

Mass sackings, police intimidation and brutality are being employed in an effort to bring the wave of strikes in South Africa’s mines to a close.

Strike leaders arrested following testimony before Marikana massacre inquiry

By Chris Marsden, 26 October 2012

Four miners who testified Tuesday before the Farlam Commission into the Marikana massacre were immediately arrested by police. They are to be charged with murder.

South African miners defy repression

By Chris Marsden, 20 October 2012

Tens of thousands of South African workers remain in struggle and a new strike by platinum miners at Lonmin’s operation in Marikana delivered a blow to efforts to stem the working class upsurge.

President Zuma calls on trade unions, state forces to end South Africa’s strike wave

By Chris Marsden, 20 October 2012

The main instruments of Zuma and the African National Congress for suppressing the mass strike movement are the Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers.

Strikes continue in South Africa amid deepening repression

By Robert Stevens, 15 October 2012

Tens of thousands of South Africa miners remain on strike in wildcat action, following a breakdown in talks between trade unions and management.

Strikes spread across South Africa despite mass sackings

By Robert Stevens, 11 October 2012

In the face of a growing wave of walkouts by workers across South Africa, mining companies are announcing mass layoffs of striking employees.

Silicosis rampant in South Africa’s mines

By Eric Graham, 9 October 2012

South Africa’s miners are among the workers worst affected by silicosis in the world.

South African unions, government seek to quell spreading wildcat strikes

By Joseph Kishore, 8 October 2012

The state and the unions are attempting to gain control of a spreading wave of strikes that have erupted across South Africa.

12,000 miners fired as South African strike wave grows

By Bill Van Auken, 6 October 2012

Anglo American Platinum fired 12,000 striking South African miners Friday as the transnational corporations, the ANC government and the COSATU union federation sought to quell a growing wave of wildcat strikes.

COSATU federation leader expresses fear of social explosion in South Africa

By Eric Graham, 2 October 2012

In the midst of an escalating wave of wildcat strike action by miners, South Africa’s biggest trade union federation, COSATU, convened its 11th national congress.

South Africa’s strike wave hits whole mining sector, spreads to transport

By Chris Marsden, 28 September 2012

The strike wave that began at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine is now engulfing South Africa’s platinum, gold and coal mining industries and has spread to transport and other sectors.

Miners’ strikes add to fears of South African economic downturn

By Jordan Shilton, 26 September 2012

The African National Congress government has reaffirmed its determination to pursue right wing economic and social “reforms.”

ANC President Zuma authorises use of South African army against miners

By Julie Hyland, 22 September 2012

As miners at the Lonmin platinum producer in Marikana returned to work Thursday, President Jacob Zuma authorised the domestic deployment of the military to deal with continued unrest in the mining sector.

Marikana massacre: France’s NPA sows illusions in South African government, unions

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 21 September 2012

It took three weeks for France’s New Anti-capitalist Party to write on the massacre of 34 South African miners on August 16 at the Marikana mine.

Political and historical issues in the South African miners’ revolt

By Julie Hyland, 20 September 2012

The massacre of striking South African platinum miners and the spreading confrontation between miners and the ANC regime have exposed the reactionary character of racial and nationalist politics.

South Africa: ANC orders security clampdown against miners’ revolt

By Julie Hyland, 17 September 2012

A march by hundreds of striking miners in South Africa’s platinum mining belt was blocked and dispersed by police on Sunday.

State of alert declared as unrest spreads in South Africa

By Chris Marsden, 13 September 2012

The South African army has been put on a state of high alert, amidst an escalating strike-wave involving platinum and gold miners.

More ANC leading figures embroiled in gold mines asset stripping scandal

By Eric Graham, 12 September 2012

The liquidation of the South African company Pamodzi Gold Limited led to the awarding of rights to the Orkney and Grootvlei gold mines to Aurora Empowerment Systems (AES) in 2009.

Strikes spread in South African mines

By Kate Randall, 11 September 2012

Gold Fields Ltd.’s KDC gold mine has been hit by strike of 15,000 workers, the second wildcat action at the company in less than a week.

South African miners speak on Marikana massacre

By Iqra Qalam, 11 September 2012

More than three weeks after the Marikana massacre, families are still searching for their missing siblings and husbands in hospitals and jails.

South Africa: Corruption exposed at Orkney and Grootvlei mines

By Eric Graham, 10 September 2012

Investigations into the Aurora Empowerment Systems, which has not paid workers at the Orkney and Grootvlei mines for years, have revealed a tangled and dirty web of criminality.

South Africa’s miners and the fear of “contagion”

By Bill Van Auken, 5 September 2012

The miners’ struggles have evoked a “fear of contagion” in ruling circles, as the issues confronting this oppressed layer of workers resonate not only in South Africa, but internationally.

Four South African miners shot as strikes spread after Marikana massacre

By Alex Lantier, 4 September 2012

Four gold miners were hospitalized after being shot at Gold One’s Modder East operation yesterday in South Africa.

Funerals of slain South African miners held as unrest spreads

By Julie Hyland, 3 September 2012

Burials for most of the 34 platinum miners massacred by police on August 16 took place Saturday.

South Africa after the Marikana massacre

By Chris Marsden, 1 September 2012

The police massacre of striking miners at Marikana is a watershed for post-apartheid South Africa.

South Africa to prosecute strikers targeted by police massacre at Marikana

By Alex Lantier, 31 August 2012

In an act of naked class justice, South Africa is using an apartheid-era law to lay bogus murder charges against striking miners targeted by police in the Marikana massacre.

More join South African strike as autopsies show miners were shot in the back

By Julie Hyland, 29 August 2012

Many more have joined the strike at South Africa’s Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, scene of the brutal police massacre of 34 workers on August 16.

Rising incidence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in South Africa

By Eric Graham, 28 August 2012

The increase in the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in school-aged children in the Wellington area of the Western Cape is bound up with the appalling levels of social inequality in South Africa.

South Africa’s day of mourning fails to stem anger over Marikana massacre

By Julie Hyland, 25 August 2012

Anger continues to mount over the August 16 massacre of 34 striking miners at South Africa’s Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana despite official efforts to lower tensions.

The unions, the pseudo-left and the South Africa massacre

By Joseph Kishore, 24 August 2012

The massacre of 34 striking workers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in South Africa has cast into sharp relief the role of the official trade unions.

South African platinum miners’ strike spreads

By David Walsh, 23 August 2012

The strike by thousands of South African platinum miners, which led to the police murder of 34 workers August 16 at Lonmin’s Marikana mine, is spreading to other companies in the industry.

South African miners defiant in face of government, company threats

By Bill Van Auken, 21 August 2012

Four days after 34 of their comrades were massacred by heavily armed police, striking South African platinum miners defied a company ultimatum to return to work or be fired.

French Communist Party backs killing of South African miners

By Alex Lantier, 21 August 2012

The World Socialist Web Site notes with contempt the French Communist Party’s defense of the massacre of 34 striking South African miners by police at Marikana.

South African miners continue strike in aftermath of massacre

By Chris Marsden, 20 August 2012

South African platinum miners have continued their strike in the aftermath of the August 16 police massacre of 34 of their comrades in a hail of bullets that left another 78 wounded.

South Africa’s mine massacre

By Bill Van Auken, 18 August 2012

The massacre of striking platinum miners in South Africa has laid bare the irreconcilable conflict between the working class on the one hand and the ruling ANC and the unions allied to it on the other.

Letter from a South African reader on the Marikana miners massacre

18 August 2012

The WSWS received this letter from a reader on Thursday’s police massacre of striking miners in South Africa.

South African police massacre striking miners

By Bill Van Auken, 17 August 2012

South African paramilitary police sent by the ANC government gunned down as at least 30 striking miners.

Forty arrested at Cape Town Occupy

By Iqra Qalam, 31 January 2012

Forty people were arrested last Friday in a brutal police crackdown on an Occupy Rondebosch Common demonstration in Cape Town, South Africa.

Social tensions rise as South African economy slows

By Zac Hambides, 17 January 2012

With real unemployment at 36 percent, social tensions are mounting in South Africa amid a marked economic slowdown.

South Africa’s ANC at 100: A balance sheet of bourgeois nationalism

By Bill Van Auken, 11 January 2012

The centenary celebration by South Africa’s ruling African National Congress provides a fitting occasion for a balance sheet on the character and fate of bourgeois nationalist movements.

Municipal Workers join South African strike wave

By Susan Garth, 30 August 2011

Municipal workers organised in the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) have joined South Africa’s continuing strike wave.

Record level of strikes in South Africa

By Susan Garth, 1 August 2011

The number of days lost in strikes across South Africa approached 30 million at the end of July.

State repression stepped up as strike wave grows in South Africa

By Susan Garth, 18 July 2011

Engineering workers in South Africa are in the second week of a strike calling for a 13 percent pay rise.

Letter from South Africa

Malema prophesies ‘nationalisation’ of mining

14 September 2010

South Africa’s black economic empowerment legislation has become the preferred route to riches for the ANC elite while the majority continue to struggle.

China-South Africa deals highlight great-power rivalry in Africa

By Zac Hambides, 13 September 2010

To the consternation of the Western powers, the Chinese regime is seeking to exploit Africa’s vast natural resources, cheap labour and new markets via South Africa, which is the largest investor in the continent, outside of the US and Europe.

International lessons of the South African public service strike

By Ann Talbot, 13 September 2010

Union leaders were chased out of a meeting in Johannesburg when they told striking public service workers that their three-week strike was over.

South African unions attempt to impose settlement on striking public service workers

By Ann Talbot, 9 September 2010

The three-week strike by 1.3 million South African public service workers, including teachers, hospital workers and civil servants, ended on Monday when unions instructed the strikers to return to work pending further discussions.

Class struggle erupts in South Africa

By Ann Talbot, 27 August 2010

The strike by 1.3 million public service workers in South Africa represents a significant escalation of the international class struggle in response to the global recession and the austerity measures that governments have adopted worldwide.

South Africa: ANC government uses police, army and courts against strikers

By Ann Talbot, 23 August 2010

Strikers at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto and Helen Joseph hospital in Johannesburg were attacked by South African police using water cannon and rubber bullets last week.

More than one million public workers strike in South Africa

By Hiram Lee, 19 August 2010

More than one million public workers in South Africa went out on strike on Wednesday demanding higher wages.

Claims of African economic growth hide stark divisions of rich and poor

By Barry Mason, 25 June 2010

Recent reports show growth of a stark divide between rich and poor in Africa.

South Africa: Riot police attack World Cup stewards pay protests

By Robert Stevens, 16 June 2010

South African riot police respond to protests by thousands of stewards at the soccer World Cup, with tear gas attacks and rubber bullets.