The protests bought together students from across the racial and economic divide, uniting black and white students from townships, rural areas, poorer urban areas, comfortable middle class suburbs and wealthy areas.
The mine was run by Lommin, a London based miner, who is the world’s third largest platinum miner (80% of the world’s platinum is in South Africa).
The Center for Civil Society at KwalaZulu Natal University, of which Patrick Bond is the Director, maintains a Social Protest Observatory to document the extent and type of protest activity occurring across South Africa.
Another question is what the political, institutional and police responses will be to this wave of protest activity. This time the Government has backed down. But reactions have so far been uneven, even ambiguous- sometimes relying on police violence and brutality against protestors, others times relying on compromise and co-option.