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TURNING GUNS ON THE WORKERS by Dr. Godfrey Vincent

posted 21 Aug 2012, 11:20 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 21 Aug 2012, 11:21 ]
During the height of Apartheid in South Africa when the young people of Soweto played a leading role in the struggle, the late Mighty Duke penned the song “How Many More Must Die.” 
 
In this masterpiece, he drew international attention to the slaughter of people and their willingness to sacrifice their lives to ensure the defeat of the Botha regime and the Apartheid system. However, Duke didn’t anticipate that one day the new ANC regime would turn the guns on the working class. 
 
The slaughter of mine workers in South Africa has exposed the ANC regime. The myth of the “Rainbow South Africa” has been exposed; it is just a myth. When Apartheid came to an end, the neoliberal wing of the ANC took control of the party and negotiated a settlement in favor of the continuance of capitalism at the expense of millions of marginalized South Africans.
The Freedom Charter which the ANC adopted in 1955 was abandoned. 
 
According to Naomi Klein author of the Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,: “So, rather than call for the nationalization of the mines, Mandela and Mbeki began meeting regularly with Harry Oppenheimer, former chairman of the mining giants Anglo-American and De Beers, the economic symbols of apartheid rule. 

Shortly after the 1994 election, they even submitted the ANC’s economic program to Oppenheimer for approval and made several key revisions to address his concerns, as well as other top industrialists.” 
 
While the Black world and progressive people in general rallied behind Mandela, what they did not know was that he reneged on his position of nationalizing the mines, instituting land reform, radically restructuring the laws governing industrial relations. and supporting a South Africa that would empower the majority of black South Africans. 

While Mandela became the darling of the Western Press and South Africa the hope and promise of the Third World, Thabo Mbeki was the man that called the economic shots and became the economic spokesperson for a new South Africa. 

Rather than support a policy that sought to fully liberate the country from White privilege and control, Mbeki suggested that the ANC break with leftist ideology and embrace the Washington Consensus. Moreover, in 1996, Mbeki unveiled an economic program that called for “more privatization, cutbacks to government spending, labor “flexibility,” freer trade and even looser controls on money flows.” 
 
These policies sent a signal to Western governments that South Africa would remain in the capitalist camp while at the same time promoting a new class of black millionaires who(Tokyo Sexwale; Cyril Ramaphosa) would showcase their wealth to the world and to poor, marginalized black South Africans. In promoting the ANC’s neoliberal economic vision for South Africa, Mbeki made it clear, according to Kelin that he should be called a Thatcherite. 
 
The mass murder of miners in South Africa should not come as a shock. It has nothing do with union infighting as some press reports have claimed. Rather, it must be seen in the light of the implementation of neoliberal economic policies that are aimed at destroying the South African working class movement and further marginalizing the South African poor. 
 
The Mighty Duke was not wrong when he sang “How many more must die.” However, he did not envision that many more would die under the reign of the ANC that, in the main, led the struggle against Apartheid. Many more will certainly die because the ANC has become the party that promotes capitalism at the expense of the welfare of the people of South Africa.
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