2014 May Events: From Marikana, South Africa To Oakland, CA: The Struggle For Workers Power

2014 May Events: From Marikana, South Africa To Oakland, CA: The Struggle For Workers Power

The fall of apartheid in South Africa in 1994 was a watershed victory. It culminated decades of struggle by the Black and Colored South African masses, a struggle supported by millions in the U.S. and around the world. The victory brought to power the Tripartite government of the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP), and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

Now, two decades later, the ANC-led Tripartite government represents big business’s interests -- especially the interests of U.S. and European-based banks and corporations. This has led the government to brutally attack workers who fight back against austerity. Indeed, in 2012, at the Marikana mine, this government massacred 34 striking miners at the behest of the mine owners.

Black poverty has worsened. Inequality has worsened. Trade union officials collaborate with employers against workers, youth, and unemployed. Does this sound familiar? Isn’t the situation similar in the US, with union of- ficials not fighting employer and government attacks on workers, like the machinists at Boeing?

But in South Africa, there’s an exciting new development: for the first time since the fall of Apartheid, there’s a serious challenge to the Tripartite government’s rule, and it comes from the largest and most militant union in Africa. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has broken with the COSATU leadership and called for South Africans not to support the ANC in this year’s elections. It is currently building a workers’ party and united front to lead the struggle against the capitalist onslaught of deregulation, privatization, and strike breaking.

We are privileged to present Brother Mphumzi Maqungo, the national treasurer of NUMSA and past chair of NUMSA’s autoworker shop steward network, to discuss these developments.

Thursday, May 1, 7:00 pm
ILWU Hall, Henry Schmidt Room
400 N. Point St./Mason, San Francisco
Streamed live on

Friday, May 2, 12 Noon at UC Berkeley,
McCone Hall (Room 575)

Saturday, May 3, 2 pm.
Black Repertory Theater; 3201 Adeline,
Berkeley (one block south of Ashby BART)

For updates or to get involved in building for these events, contact the May Day Committee in Solidarity with South African Workers at: twsc@transportworkers.org. Reach us directly at (510)325-8664 or (415)282-1908

Message for National Union Metalworkers of South Africa (2:38) by Mumia Abu-Jamal
7PM ILWU Local 10, SF, May 1 2014
Mphumzi Maqungo, the Treasurer of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), the largest union in that country, will be here in the Bay Area for May Day speeches. His Bay Area tour is being organized by the May Day Committee in Solidarity with South African Workers. Brother Maqungo will speak at ILWU Local 10 on May Day.