Letter from South Africa

by Mike Fleshman, The Africa Fund
New York, New York, United States
July 5, 1993
Publisher: The Africa Fund
3 pages
Type: Mailing
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
Mailing to Key Labor Contacts reports that negotiators reached final agreement on April 27, 1984 as the date for South Africa’s first non-racial elections. However, in the wake of last week's attack on the 26-party negotiating group by heavily armed members of the neo-fascist Afrikaner AWB (Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging), the announcement was made from behind acres of barbed wire and a massive military presence at the negotiating site, the World Trade Center outside Johannesburg. This announcement was immediately followed by bloody clashes in Tokoza and Katlehong townships east of Johannesburg between supporters of the African National Congress (ANC) and migrant workers aligned with the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP); over the past four days nearly 100 people have been killed in the fighting, and pitched battles are continuing. The mailing says Inkatha chief Gatsha Buthelezi is demanding effective continuation of the bantustan system under a new constitution, and he has withheld endorsement of an election date as a bargaining chip. Against this background, nearly 300 shop floor delegates of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) met for their union’s fourth national convention. NUMSA shop stewards at South Africa’s Eveready Battery plant, owned by the same British multinational that owns Peabody Coal Company, have decided to strike in solidarity with the United Mine Workers of America struggle against the coal giant. The mailing also discusses the Conservative Party, Walter Felgate, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), NUMSA President Mthuthuzeli Tom, Moses Mayekiso, the South African economy, Innocence Myesa, Rain Chisa, Namibian metalworkers President Andries Temba, and SWAPO. • Metalworkers Convention • Observations
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor toThe Africa Fund).
Collection: Africa Action Archive