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18 Aug 2012 15:56
The crowd of miners at Wonderkop village appeared calm after being addressed by Julius Malema (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)
President Jacob Zuma and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa must resign following the death of mineworkers at Lonmin's Marikana operations, in the North West, expelled ANC Youth League President Julius Malema said on Saturday.
"President Zuma decided over the massacre of our people, he must step down."
Malema was speaking in Wonderkop where around 34 people were killed in a clash between police on Thursday.
He said Mthethwa must also resign because the police shot people under his command.
"He must resign because he failed in executing his duties."
Malema told the crowd that the police were supposed to protect them and not kill them.
"It has never happened before that so many people were killed in a single day and it became normal," he said.
Malema, who pledged his support for the striking mineworkers urged them not to retreat and to stand firm on their demand for a R12 500 salary.
Not a president
He said the reason the police shot at the people was because they were protecting the interest of ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member, Cyril Ramaphosa, who, he alleged, owned shares in Lonmin.
"Lonmin had a high political connection that is why our people were killed. They were killed to protect the shares of Cyril Ramaphosa," he said.
He told the gathering that it was amazing that Ramaphosa was able to buy a buffalo for R18-million but could not pay them the R12 500 they were demanding.
Earlier today, the Shanduka Group, which was formed by Cyril Ramaphosa, pledged R2-million for the burial of scores of people killed in the Lonmin clashes.
Malema said one reason why he called for the resignation of President Zuma was that he failed in his duty to protect the citizens of the country.
"When you were killed, Zuma was still in the country.
He decided to go to Maputo, Mozambique and once he was there he was advised that he made a wrong decision.
He told the crowd that if they were asked who is the president of the country, they should say they do not have a president.
"I don't have a president. Zuma is not a president."
He called on the mineworkers to form a militant union that would represent their interests.
He said that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was no longer a union that represented the interests of the workers but was interested in making more money.
"NUM is not a union, it's a company. They hold shares in mining companies, that is why when there are problems in the mines they are the first to sell out the workers."
The crowd dispersed peacefully after Malema's address.
A total of 34 people were killed in a shootout that erupted near the mine 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. – Sapa.
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