AFRICANGLOBE – Mineworkers in the platinum belt should intensify their strike, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said yesterday. “This is the longest strike since 1984. We are proud of you. We are not ashamed to be associated with you,” Malema said in Rustenburg, North West.
“The strike must continue. We support Amcu in the fight for a better wage. It is the only union crippling the capitalists.”
He was in Rustenburg in an attempt to garner last-minute votes for his party during yesterday’s general election.
Malema told a crowd of about 5,000 supporters in Freedom Park that when they voted they should remember the mineworkers massacred in Marikana in 2012.
“Remember the orphans of Marikana. Tomorrow (yesterday) remember the mineworkers who died fighting for a better wage.”
Forty-four people were killed in August 2012 during a violent wage strike at Lonmin’s mine at Marikana.
Thirty-four died on 16 August when police fired on them. Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killing in the preceding week.
Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Impala Platinum, Lonmin, and Anglo American Platinum have been on strike since January 23 demanding a basic salary R12 500 per month.
Malema said the ANC had never gone to Marikana to apologise to the spirits of the slain workers.
“Tomorrow you will see Jacob Zuma in the ballot paper. Tell him he did not come to you after the police killed your brothers and fathers. Tell him he will not get your vote.”
When the ANC spoke of providing houses, voters should tell them they only built modern shacks.
“Your proper house is coming. Give us only five (years) to deliver. If we fail kick us out.”
He urged strikers not to boycott the election.