Expelled ANC Youth League President Julius Malema yesterday called on the striking Lonmin mineworkers in Marikana outside Rustenburg in North west to form their own workers union.
Malema criticised the mineworkers' union NUM for failing to represent the workers well. The NUM and the new union AMCU have been blaming each other for unrests at the mine. Disgruntled mineworkers are demanding a salary hike of R12 500 rand a month.
Thirty-four people were killed during a standoff between the police and mineworkers. Malema told mineworkers they should not associate with people who sell them out.
“Organise yourselves and form a militant union. We want leaders who will not sell you out. We thought we can give NUM a chance, but NUM has proven itself that it has no intention to defend the workers”.
“It has intention to make more money through their investment companies. I'm sending condolences to the families of those who were killed here,” added Malema.
Upon his arrival at the mining area, Malema received a warm welcome from the striking miners and some residents of Wonderkop informal settlement. After listening to the leadership of the miners, Malema addressed a jubilant crowd.
In his address Malema pledged his support to the workers and condemned the usage of live ammunition by the police during the shooting.