Zuma has blood on his hands - Malema

2013-08-16 22:42
(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Marikana - Platinum giant Lonmin and President Jacob Zuma were behind the killing of mineworkers at Marikana, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema claimed on Friday.

"You got blood on your hands, innocent blood," he said to applause at a commemoration rally in Marikana, North West.

"Zuma sent the police to kill protesting workers on 16 August [last year]."

He said if Lonmin had agreed to meet workers, the miners would not have been killed.

"Lonmin, you remain the enemy until you pay workers R12 500 [a month]. "Down with Zuma," Malema chanted.

The crowd responded by clapping hands.

Malema refused to sit down when his three minutes of allocated time expired.

"I am a politician. If you invite me I will speak politics. I am not going to speak for three minutes," he told Dali Mpofu who directed the programme.

Friday's event marked a year since 44 people were killed during a wage-related strike at Lonmin's Marikana operations.

Thirty-four mineworkers were killed when police fired on them on 16 August while attempting to disperse and disarm them.

The workers - armed with spears, pangas, iron rods and knobkerries - had gathered on top of a hill. They demanded a monthly salary of R12 500.

Ten people, including two policemen, were killed in strike-related violence in the week before the shooting.

Malema was given a hero's welcome when he arrived at the rally earlier on Friday.

The crowd clapped, whistled, and raised hands when he arrived. Guests in a VIP tent rose when he entered.

Malema wore a red EFF beret, a black shirt, and dark sunglasses.

Malema arranged for lawyers to represent 270 mineworkers arrested after the shooting.

At the time he was suspended as leader of the ANC Youth League.

He was later expelled from the ANC.

Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  dali mpofu  |  jacob zuma  |  julius malema  |  mahikeng  |  marikana anniversary

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