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South African troops protest over pay

Issue No. 2168

Up to 3,000 South African soldiers fought running battles with riot police across the government district of Pretoria, the country’s capital, at the end of August. They had been marching to demand a 30 percent pay rise and improved conditions.

The defence ministry has announced that some 2,000 soldiers face dismissal for their part in the march.

The South African National Defence Union, which aims to unionise the military, organised the protest. The march was banned at the last minute.

The protest is symptomatic of a new mood in South Africa since Jacob Zuma became president in May. A wave of protests and strikes show that many people believe that the ruling ANC has changed and is now more open to the demands of ordinary people.

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Tue 8 Sep 2009, 19:38 BST
Issue No. 2168
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