After South Africa was transferred to black rule, the mines were given to the relatives of ANC leaders. Under Apartheid, these were some of the most profitable mines in the world. Under ANC crony rule, they are in total disrepair and workers are owed months of back pay. At some mines, elevators and heavy equipment have been stripped to sell for scrap metal.
In the past few months, government police have killed dozens of striking mine workers.
The latest violence occurred at twhat was once the single most profitable gold mine in the entire world. The mine once brought huge amounts of wealth into South Africa, greatly benefiting both blacks and white. The mine is now owned by the grandson of Nelson Mandela and the nephew of SA president Jacob Zuma.
The owners have mismanaged it to the point that workers are currently owed about three month backpay. Many of the mine workers are now homeless. Last week former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema visited the mine to declare that the workers had been better off under Apartheid.