South Africa: Pay Rage

Black mineworkers in revolt

It began as a heated debate over an unexpectedly low pay raise for black workers at the West Rand mining complex, one of the richest gold veins in the world. When some of the men refused to enter the mines and others symbolically laid down their shovels, white overseers called out the mines' internal security police. Using riot guns, armored vehicles, tear gas and snarling Alsatian dogs, they attempted to disperse the angry crowd. By evening the confrontation had erupted into a full-scale riot, as 4,000 blacks raged across mine property, stoning the cars of white officials...

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