Malema asks police to distance themselves

2012-08-18 14:47
Police at the Marikana mine in the North West. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Police at the Marikana mine in the North West. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema asked police on Saturday to distance themselves from the crowds at the Wonderkop village near Rustenburg.

The negotiations between Malema and the police came after complaints from Lonmin workers and residents that they felt uncomfortable engaging with Malema with the police there.

Around three police nyalas were parked in the area.

Police heeded Malema's call and moved their vehicles about a kilometre away from the gathering.
Malema arrived in Wonderkop a short while ago.

He was given a warm welcome by the residents and mineworkers when he arrived.

‘Malema, stand up’


Women ululated while men who had been seated stood up and clapped their hands.

Some of the women were waving placards reading: "Julius Malema, Boeremag, please stand up."

The woman holding up that placard explained that she meant to send a message to Malema that the boer (white men) have killed their husbands.

She said they wanted Malema to help them.

Another woman carried a placard reading "R500 reward for killing police, Musina to Cape Town do your best."

She explained that her placard meant that anyone who could kill police officers from the Limpopo end of the country to the tip of it in the Western Cape would receive a R500 reward.

For the first time, women and men were seated in one gathering since the start of the unrest.
The women were still however, separated from the men by a fence.

Former ANC Youth League spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu, and suspended league secretary, Sindiso Magaqa were also present.

‘Most people shot in the back’

Earlier, Shivambu said he understood the pleas of the miners and said the police were wrong to utilise maximum force to disperse them.

"Most of the people were shot at the back, indicating that they were running away so police actions were not justified," he said.

A total of 34 people were killed in a shootout that erupted near the mine on Thursday when police tried to disperse striking miners.

More than 78 people were injured. Another 10 people had by then been killed in the violent protests at the mine over the past week.

President Jacob Zuma visited Lonmin on Friday where he condemned the violence. He called for an inquiry into the incident.
- SAPA
Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  julius malema  |  floyd shivambu  |  mahikeng  |  protests  |  mining unrest  |  labour  |  mining
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