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South Africa: Limpopo WASP launch
Meschak Komani, DSM, South Africa
On Wednesday 3 August the Sefateng Stadium in Atok was filled with revolutionary workers' songs. More than 700 people had come to the stadium to launch the Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) in Limpopo.
Mineworkers from Bukoni and Steelport, community activists from different towns and youth sang: "Limpopo when we are united, we can do miracles".
The mineworkers of the Xstrata Steelport mine were the first to arrive in Atok. They have been on strike against racism for months.
Experienced in mobilising for their struggle, they toyi-toyied through the town around the stadium carrying WASP banners and posters with their demands. Delegations from Carletonville mine and other places were also present.
Weizmann Hamilton, DSM general secretary (Democratic Socialist Movement - CWI South Africa) and member of the WASP interim committee, was the first to speak: "WASP was established to unify the struggles of the working class".
His ferocious attacks on the ANC government's pro-capitalist policies and his outline of WASP's socialist principles and programme were frequently interrupted with applause from the workers.
Weizmann explained how the mine bosses are preparing for mass retrenchments and there is already a low intensity civil war going on in the mines. "WASP is the answer to these attacks" Weizmann told the audience.
The launch was closed by DSM spokesperson Liv Shange. who said the establishment of WASP is not only for the elections but to unite the working class for the struggles to come and fight for a socialist society.
After she spoke the voices of singing workers - "The capitalists are shaking..." echoed around the Sefateng stadium.