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More Mining violence & Mangaung Massacre and the rise of the new ANC

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  • Cort Greene
    SOUTH AFRICA Mangaung Massacre and the rise of the new ANC - RANJENI MUNUSAMY - SOUTH AFRICA -
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 21, 2012
      Mangaung Massacre and the rise of the new ANC

      - SOUTH AFRICA <http://dailymaverick.co.za/section/south-africa>


      - 21 DECEMBER 2012 08:42 (SOUTH AFRICA)


      President Jacob Zuma closed the ANC�s 2012 national conference in Mangaung
      on Thursday night as a conquering victor after crushing any and all forms
      of dissent in the party. An array of political corpses lie strewn on the
      Mangaung battlefield as Zuma and a new band of enforcers take charge of the
      party, ready to change course and lead the ANC with an iron-fist. Their
      victory was sweeping and seminal. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY/NewsFire.

      It might not have occurred to Jacob Zuma that many in the gallery of
      eminent ANC leaders purged from the party leadership in Mangaung this week
      were once among his fiercest supporters in his battle against Thabo Mbeki.
      Fikile Mbalula, Paul Mashatile, Cassel Mathale, Tokyo Sexwale and Mathews
      Phosa were all on his side five years ago when Zuma and Mbeki fought for
      the presidency of the ANC.

      Kgalema Motlanthe was his deputy and the man he would later trust with the
      presidency of South Africa when Mbeki was defeated, humiliated and recalled
      from office.

      Five years ago in the giant tent in Polokwane, on the closing day of the
      ANC�s 52nd national conference, all these men clapped and sang triumphantly
      in praise of the man they helped carry to the presidency of the party,
      against the odds. In exactly five years, these men have now come to
      represent the defeated. Most of them were absent from the closing session
      of the 2012 conference, mortified by a badly fought campaign against Zuma
      and humiliated by how things turned out for them.

      Another set of notables has taken their place as the conquerors.

      In the midst of Zuma�s final moment of glory after the announcement of the
      newly-elected National Executive Committee (NEC), dominated by his new band
      of his supporters, the president stopped in the middle of a passionate
      rendition of a song in praise of the ANC�s former leaders and said: �I
      wonder how it must be to be outside the ANC,� before laughing and
      continuing his song.

      It was the final insult to the group of ANC leaders who dared to go against
      him in his march towards his second term as the part leader. Demeaned, they
      have no place to go after being voted out of the ANC�s senior leadership.
      They will have to stand back and watch the new leadership take over, with
      their options restricted to no-win scenarios of joining another political
      party, starting their own or remaining powerless in the ANC as it changes
      course towards a more authoritarian leadership style.

      Motlanthe, a former Robben Island prisoner and party deputy president,
      Sexwale, a former death row inmate, Mashatile, detained without trial for
      four years and Mbalula, former president of the ANC Youth League, will find
      it untenable to be outside the ANC fold, where they spent their entire
      adult lives. They will probably have to sit out the next five years under
      the new band of ANC leaders, hoping that the party changes it again at next
      national conference.

      Zuma�s camp did not only make a clean sweep of leadership positions in the
      Top Six positions and the NEC, they also stamped their authority on
      constitutional and policy amendments. The ANC constitution is being amended
      to strengthen internal disciplinary processes in order to quell dissent
      from members and alliance partners.

      After making an example of the former ANC Youth League president Julius
      Malema, the party will institute disciplinary action against any ANC
      member, office bearer or public representative �doing any act or making any
      utterance which brings or could bring or has potential to bring, or as a
      consequence thereof brings, the ANC into disrepute.�

      The ANC has also come out forcefully against members who challenge the
      party and its decisions publicly, particularly through the courts.

      In his closing address, Zuma said through �decisive action against
      ill-discipline, we will be able to root out all the tendencies that we have
      identified over the years.�

      �These include factionalism, the sowing of disunity and confusion within
      the movement, the use of money to buy members, positions or influence in
      the organisation, the hurling of insults or even worse, the attacks on
      members of the ANC.�

      He went on to say: �We will be able to deal with the comrades who disrupt
      ANC meetings and those who want the ANC to be now run on technicalities and
      through the courts.�

      �The NEC must develop a code of conduct booklet to be circulated to all
      branches within the first quarter of 2013,� Zuma said.

      The �Forces of Change� campaign, initiated to canvass for leadership at
      Mangaung, particularly targeting Zuma, is now so defeated that they have
      all but given up. Some of the leaders left the conference when the sway and
      dominance of the Zuma camp became evident. They threw in the towel on
      debates in commissions and in the plenary. The issue of nationalisation,
      which was used as a proxy campaign against Zuma, was wiped completely off
      the table with no fight back whatsoever from the lobby which campaigned for

      While the ANC�s June policy conference resolved to support strategic
      nationalisation of key sectors of the economy as part of a move towards
      radical economic policy change, it was announced to the media on Thursday
      that the resolution on economic transformation now states that there should
      be �increased state ownership in strategic sectors where deemed appropriate
      on the balance of evidence�.

      The defeat of the hard-fought policy conference resolution on economic
      transformation is the final nail in the coffin of the ANC Youth League's
      �economic freedom in our lifetime� campaign and also goes against Cosatu�s
      push for radical economic policy change.

      Malusi Gigaba, now one of Zuma�s key lieutenants and the Public Enterprises
      Minister, told NewsFire that there was no contest in the plenary session of
      the conference to the amended resolution on nationalisation. This is in
      stark contrast to the intense debates on nationalisation that raged at the
      ANC�s national general council in 2010 and the policy conference.

      After Zuma�s re-election, his loyalists made an immediate move to disband
      the ANC Youth League national executive, which had become the base of
      internal opposition in the ruling party. A belief that the League has
      become a law unto itself is propelling moves to reduce the League�s powers
      and influence and to reign in their militancy.

      At the conference on Wednesday night, Gigaba and KwaZulu-Natal secretary
      Sihle Zikalala motivated for the incoming NEC to assess and deal with the
      League, still under the acting leadership of Ronald Lamola after Malema�s
      expulsion. The voice of the Youth League has however already been curbed;
      Lamola and others in the leadership were largely absent during the
      conference and completely restrained.

      NewsFire also understands that there will be a move early next year to
      disband the provincial executive committee of Limpopo. That province has
      also been dissenting against Zuma�s leadership and fought to maintain its
      pro-change stance in the run-up to Mangaung. Mathale is also in the firing
      line, with rumours circulating of his possible arrest and firing.

      In two provinces where the pro-Zuma leadership faced court action from the
      Forces of Change, the North West and Free State, provincial leaders are
      fighting to suppress dissent. Immediately after the Mangaung conference
      ended on Thursday night, provincial leaders Ace Magashule and Supra
      Mahumapelo (both staunch Zuma supporters) called their delegations into a
      joint caucus to stamp their authority.

      The ANC�s new deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa seems to have read
      immediately where the balance of power lies. He was given the opportunity
      to make his maiden address to the ANC by reading out the conference
      declaration in the closing session and began by chanting in praise of Zuma.
      He also commended South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary
      Blade Nzimande on a rambling message he delivered to the conference earlier
      in the afternoon in which he lashed out at the media and critics of the

      �If you notice media heroes are all those who have made it their pastime to
      attack, ridicule or sought to present themselves as being above the ANC.
      That�s what independence has come to mean today. That is why every Tom Dick
      and Harry, including pseudo intellectuals and intellectual charlatans, who
      seek some publicity today must attack especially President Zuma, the ANC,
      the alliance and government,� said Nzimande.

      �In fact the print media, with very few exceptions, has in the run up to
      this conference, attacked the ANC, its current leadership and the
      government it leads. Yet in Friday�s papers they all of a sudden pretend to
      be giving delegates to this Conference some seemingly sober advice. As the
      SACP we are tempted to say do not take this advice from the media as it is
      toxic and not good for the health of the ANC, our Alliance and indeed our
      revolution as a whole,� he said.

      South Africa will feel the assertion of the new ANC very soon. The new year
      opens with the ANC�s 101st anniversary to be held on Zuma�s home turf in
      Durban. It is bound to be as triumphalist as the national conference
      closing ceremony. Zuma will deliver his State of the Nation address in
      early February, bolstered by the ANC�s renewed confidence in his leadership
      after a controversy-plagued 2012.

      The ANC is likely to command its parliamentary caucus to close ranks in
      support of Zuma as the opposition�s motion of no confidence will come
      before the House early next year.

      The Forces of Change are flattened and will never recover. Theirs is not
      just a defeat but a dramatic upheaval to their political lives. They will
      be under siege and some might be hounded out of their positions in

      The ANC will face its biggest challenge since liberation in the 2014
      national elections with the new Mangaung leadership having to decide the
      best way to maintain the ANC�s electoral dominance.

      For South Africa, 2012 was seminal. Marikana and Mangaung changed the
      country forever. The future will be imperfect. *DM*

      *Photo: Jacob Zuma (Greg Nicolson/NewsFire)*

      Mining violence: Harmony Gold closes branch after five injured

      - SOUTH AFRICA <http://dailymaverick.co.za/section/south-africa>


      - 21 DECEMBER 2012 04:07 (SOUTH AFRICA)


      Violent clashes continue in the mining sector, this time in Carletonville,
      where workers were allegedly shot at with live rounds and rubber bullets at
      *Harmony* Gold's Kusasalethu mine. With layoffs, union rivalry and mine
      bosses reneging on pay promises, 2013 looks set to be a torrid year for
      SA�s mining sector. By MANDY DE WAAL.

      Five miners were injured at Harmony Gold's Kusasalethu mine in
      Carletonville on the morning of Thursday, when workers faced off against
      security guards from Protea Coin. Thenda Kolweni, a worker at Harmony, said
      that two miners were shot with live rounds, two were injured by rubber
      bullets, and one worker was overcome by tear gas.

      The conflict broke out, Kolweni said, when miners were making their way to
      the gold mine to prepare for a disciplinary hearing. �It was round about
      10h20 when the workers were going to the AMCU (Association of Mineworkers
      and Construction Union) offices and the security did not open the gates for
      them, and these employees where denied access to the union office. When
      these workers started to ask questions, tear gas was thrown at them and
      five employees were injured. Two people were shot with live ammunition and
      the others got wounds because of the rubber bullets. One man was
      suffocating from the tear gas,� Kolweni said. All the injured were taken to
      the Sir Albert Hospital in Randfontein.

      This violent clash between workers and mining security had its genesis in a
      sit-in five days ago. Some 1,500 workers occupied Kusasalethu Mine on
      Saturday 15 December, demanding better wages. A spokesperson for Harmony
      said that the strike was staged so AMCU could jockey for position at the
      mine. �This is part of AMCU trying to secure its position for support at
      the shaft,� Harmony�s Marian van der Walt told

      Harmony subsequently suspended 578 miners for participating in the strike,
      which the mine declared was illegal. After today�s clashes, mine management
      has decided to close the shaft for the festive season. �We have made it
      clear that no violence will be tolerated, and to ensure the safety of our
      employees, it has become imperative to close the shaft until the labour
      issues have been resolved,� Tom Smith, Harmony's Chief Operating Officer,
      told The Wall Street Journal.

      �The management suspended workers after the sit-in, but not everyone was
      suspended. The workers are very angry and upset because there are still
      others sitting in front of the hostel, but AMCU came to speak to everyone
      to calm things down,� Kolweni told Daily Maverick. �The mine is closing,
      but hopefully the mine owners will talk with AMCU and things will get
      sorted out.�

      2013 looks set to be a challenging year for government, mine owners and
      workers in the sector, because when the sector gets back to work in
      January, the first thing on the agenda is the shedding of jobs. �In terms
      of the retrenchments next year, first quarter... I don't know the numbers,
      but I can tell you it's probably in the thousands, possibly going above ten
      (thousand) and maybe higher,� Chamber of Mines CEO Bheki Sibiya said during
      an address at the Cape Town Press Club little under a month ago.

      �Some people above ground are going to be retrenched and some people below
      ground are going to be retrenched because the industry is now literally
      between the rock and the hard place.� Other issues threatening the sector
      include the jostling for position between rival unions AMCU and the
      National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the largest recognised collective
      bargaining agent to represent workers in the mining, energy and
      construction industries.

      In recent years, NUM has lost part of its support base to AMCU, which was
      founded after disgruntled workers broke away from the ANC/Cosatu-aligned
      union. NUM has even fallen below the required 50% representation as was the
      case at Impala Platinum, which ceased to recognise the union because of its
      dwindling support.

      At Harmony�s Kusasalethu, two people were killed and another was injured in
      running battles between the two unions in November. Mineworker Sithembile
      Nqulo told Mail &
      people were walking to a mass meeting when NUM shop stewards opened fire on
      the crowd. �The NUM wants to lead us by force,� Nqulo told the
      investigative weekly, and added that he thought NUM was threatened by the
      AMCU's presence.

      Meanwhile the BenchMarks Foundation took issue with Lonmin on Thursday 13
      December 2012, following reports that mine bosses had reneged on pay
      promises to Marikana miners. In a letter from John Capel, executive
      director of the Bench Marks Foundation, to mine management, Capel stated
      his concern �at recent reports from workers and community members in
      Marikana alleging that the agreed pay rise of 22% was only paid for the
      first month after the strike, and was then discontinued.�

      The NGO that monitors corporate performance said there had also been
      allegations that a �return-to-work bonus� of R2,000 that was received by
      workers at Lonmin�s Marikana mine was now being deducted from miners�
      salaries, as if it were a loan.

      About 50 people were killed in violent clashes at mines in 2012, including
      the 34 people who lost their lives during the Marikana Massacre, when
      police opened fire at strikers at Lonmin�s mine in what is now seen as one
      of the greatest tragedies in SA�s young democracy.

      Newly elected ANC leader, Jacob Zuma, and his deputy, mining mogul Cyril
      Ramaphosa, will have their work cut out for them next year. Mangaung has
      been all about debate and policy, but 2013 will take them back to the coal
      face of trying to stabilise and grow SA�s resource-based economy. *DM*

      Read more:

      - Five injured in clash at Harmony mine in Carletonville on

      - S Africa mine nationalisation ruled out at the Financial

      - Global Miners Face Rising Risks in South Africa on

      - Bench Marks Foundation Is Concerned At Recent Reports From Workers At
      Marikana at AllAfrica <http://allafrica.com/stories/201212191177.html>

      *Photo: A Harmony Gold miner appears on the surface after being trapped
      underground for more than 10 hours at a mine in Carltonville, west of
      Johannesburg, October 4, 2007. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko*

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