botha.smuts28th January, 1914 : General Botha’s South African Government took its most drastic action yet today in an effort to break the two-week long general strike.. Ten strike leaders were deported under conditions of great secrecy and the South African press were forbidden to report the event. Most South Africans do not know it has happened. The men, several of whom had been arrested when the strike began, were taken in a shuttered and heavily guarded train from Transvaal to Durban. Surrounded by detectives and allowed only hand luggage, they were hurried aboard the Umgeni just before she sailed for England. The deported men include the most senior officials in the trade union movement.

The strike over low wages and conditions of work, began in the gold and diamond mines and on the railways. The Government declared martial law and a curfew and called up the Citizen Defence Army of about 60,000 men. Many have been killed and wounded in clashes between the strikers and the security forces.

[ Good old times … ]

About Avadoro Worden

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