Pambazuka News 604: Speaking the truth to abusers of power

As Gold Fields announced its operations resumed, another operator said it was hit by a strike, suggesting labour unrest in the mines is far from over. Gold Fields said the reinstatement of 8,500 dismissed workers at its KDC East operations near Johannesburg had ended a 23-day strike and heralded a return to production. But Village Main Reef, one of South Africa's smaller gold producers, said employees at its Buffelsfontein Gold Mine had embarked on a wildcat strike.

At least 100 people have been charged with treason in south-eastern Nigeria after a march supporting independence for Biafra, their lawyer says. Members of the Biafran Zionist Movement declared independence, raised the Biafran flag and then marched through the region's main town, Enugu. More than one million people died during the 1967-70 Biafran conflict - mostly from hunger and disease.

South African police have been accused of planting weapons near the bodies of workers killed during strikes at the Marikana platinum mine. Photographs taken by police suggested large knives had been placed near the bodies after they had been shot, a lawyer told an inquest into the deaths. Thirty-four miners were killed when police opened fire on the striking workers at the mine in August.

On October 21, a violent incident occurred at an airbase outside Bissau, the capital of the small west African nation of Guinea-Bissau. Six people were reported killed, and gruesome images of bodies of accused assailants circulated on the internet. The day after two politicians critical of the country's transitional government and military were kidnapped and beaten. The violence took place against a backdrop of simmering doubts about the transition negotiated by the Economic Community of more

A group of Mauritanian bloggers launched a blogging campaign under the theme 'Against foreign mining companies' at the beginning of October. For the bloggers, this campaign was intended to share their opinions about the issue of foreign companies, accused of looting Mauritania's mineral wealth. This campaign was inaugurated by publishing a series of posts at the same time, and continued for a week.