The South African government has promised the full wrath of the law upon any who gather illegally, armed or for causing illegal strikes or rioting and intimidation. While the state has denied that it is in a state of emergency, technically a formal procedure allowing the government to ignore parts of the bill of rights, bringing the South African Defence Force into play has not been ruled out. Backed by socialists and the Communist leaning Julius Malema, who has called for mine nationalization, workers have started walking to other mines than their own. They recently threatened to burn down a mine shaft if unaffiliated workers did not leave it and join them. Management of that mine say that 5 workers'representatives informed them that if they did not close the mine they would be slaughtered. As the unrest spreads, President Zuma, his political nemesis Mothlante, and ANC allied union NUM, have all called for the snuffling out of these armed protests.
Police, in response, have deployed helicopters, to tail protesters, have dropped flash-bang grenades upon illegal gatherings, and have used police to chase and arrest those who partake in these gatherings. Protest leaders have demanded protesters 'report' to strike on Saturday. Another mine has declared it will be inoperative until Sunday.
Update: In a showdown on Saturday, Police, with utilization of Nyala armoured vehicles dispersed about 100 protesters, and disarmed 12. Lonmin has doubled their offer, as the Labour court has cleared them to fire any workers of the striking protesters, that they so choose.
The Lonmin Marikana incident continues to escalate. Following earlier murders committed by protester affiliated individuals, with 7 deaths of NUM leaders, and 2 deaths of policemen, 2 of security guards, and 34 of rioting, armed to the teeth miners, perhaps the rest of the world has decided to look away. Those who charged police and shot at police as recorded by ENCA,after having been given Muthi ('medicine') to make them invincible by a Sangoma or Witchdoctor, (Sunday Times Reporting) have recently expanded their efforts. With the blessing of Former ANC Youth League President Julius Malema, who was ousted after calling for the violent over-throw of Botswana for it's harbouring of a USA base, the protesters have started marching to other non-Lonmin mines to shut them down. The Chamber of Mines claims that the R 12,500 miners are demanding after tax, would mean they would need to pay them R 20 000 a month each.That is more than most people with a University Education are paid. It would also likely lead to country-wide unrest.
Malema also recently addressed a hall-full of suspended SANDF soldiers, who attacked the government in a riot some time ago, and in a separate incident, Marikana miners have alleged that while in jail, State Security Agency (formerly the NIA and foreign intelligence) members tortured them for information on Julius 'Juju' (Magic) Malema.
The Intelligence Services removed former President Thabo Mbeki from office, in favour of Jacob Zuma, by allowing Zuma access to private conversations of the former president during his official duties. This, with the support of the Zuma king-makers lead to Thabo Mbeki quitting under threat of impeachment. Julius Malema played a part in that ousting of Mbeki. Those same extreme left wing king-makers, have begun threatening to have Jacob Zuma ousted at the ANC conference, in messages reminiscent of what Mbeki faced.
Many Zuma opponents are calling for the state to requisition the banks, farmland, and mines. This is in accordance with a prima facie communist provision of the ANC founding Freedom Charter.