Big leaders don’t sulk

2014-06-29 08:21

The “victory” by Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) after the longest mine strike in this country’s history has challenged the notion of the ANC being a leader of society.

Throughout its history, including during the difficult days of the struggle, the ANC has always sought to occupy every space in South African society, even through proxy organisations when it was banned.

But during the strike by mine workers led by the union that has displaced the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) as the biggest, the ANC took an uncharacteristic muted approach.

In fact, for the first time in recent memory, the ANC appeared to be hostile towards striking workers and various leaders, including Blade Nzimande, described Amcu as a vigilante union.

Part of the context is that police serving the ANC government killed 34 miners in Marikana in one day in 2012, deepening the miners’ antipathy towards the government and the ruling party.

The plight and disgruntlement of the mine workers was in fact one of the breeding grounds for the formation of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), whose leader Julius Malema had pledged solidarity with the workers.

In March, I chatted to one of the ANC’s top six officials about the strike, after which I concluded that the ANC was in essence sulking because of how Amcu had demonised it in the past two years.

“These people have said they don’t want us. So why must we help?” asked the official.

» Get City Press newspaper today for the full analysis.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.