The South African government was responsible for the "massacre" at Marikana mine earlier this month, former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema wrote in an article for City Press today. "The South African government is responsible for the massacre because it had the political power to stop it from happening," he said.
Since 2008, the Youth League had been the only voice speaking in defence of mine workers' interests and aspirations, Malema said.
"How do you explain and justify the reality that rock-drill operators are paid as little as R4000 per month in the mines?" he asked.
"How do you explain that mine workers reside in the type of conditions the Marikana workers find themselves in?"
"When the League had raised these issues, President Jacob Zuma had ignored their concerns." Malema said Zuma had assured mine owners and investors "that the South African government will not change the conditions of workers and will not change any policy with regards to minerals management".
The massacre could have been avoided through mining regulation and the appointment of a more experienced police commissioner, Malema said.
Thirty-four protesting mine workers were killed at Lonmin's Marikana mine when police opened fire on the crowd.