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Malema arrives to cheers at miner's gathering

Sapa

Julius Malema, who is due to speak to striking Lonmin workers this afternoon, was greeted with applause at Wonderkop near Rustenburg.

Women ululated while men who had been seated stood up and clapped their hands when Malema arrived. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

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

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

One woman who held a placard with that message 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.

Do your best
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 start of the country in Limpopo 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 African National Congress Youth League spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu and suspended league secretary, Sindiso Magaqa were also present.

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 yesterday where he condemned the violence. He called for an inquiry into the incident.

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