Malema fires up Aurora workers

Malema spoke to workers, who haven't been paid in nearly two years, since the mine was taken over by Aurora empowerment systems – a company partly owned by President Jacob Zuma's nephew Khulubuse Zuma and Nelson Mandela's grandson Zondwa Mandela.

"Our leaders have lost their way and have been co-opted by mine owners and fed profits. They don't care about you," Malema said to an approving applause.

His chants of "Phansi, Zuma, Phansi [down with Zuma]" were met with enthusiastic replies from the workers, who relayed to him their anger with government and the ruling ANC.

"He is our future! He's our leader! He will be our president! The ANC are cowards," one miner said of Malema.

Liquidators of Pamodzi appointed Aurora Empowerment Systems to manage the mines in October 2009, when the mines were fully operational.


Since then, the directors of Aurora – Zuma, Mandela, Jacob Zuma's legal advisor Michael Hulley and Thulani Ngubane – have all come under intense scrutiny over the mine's demise, and in November last year were grilled by Parliament over claims they had fraudulently stripped the mine of its assets.

The mine is in a complete state of disrepair, with only Shaft One, the last functioning division at the mine, currently being used to generate revenue for liquidators to pay creditors.

The visit to Aurora follows on Malema last week transforming a memorial service, held for the 34 slain miners who died at the hands police at Lonmin platinum mine, into a political rally decrying government's role in the incident.

'Gotten worse'
Malema told the Grootvlei miners they need to stand up for their rights and demand what they deserve.

"We thought it would be nice to be a black person after 1994, but it's gotten worse than apartheid. Our own people are killing us," Malema said.

Malema  also said miners countrywide should make all mines "ungovernable" until the "whites listen".

"They must pay a decent wage – R12 500 a month as a basic wage for all. This is your time. This country is what it is today because of miners like you. You must claim your rightful place in South Africa," he said.

Malema said the fact the Aurora crisis had lasted four years showed there was no leadership in the country.

"Four years shows that there is not leadership. When they [politicians] arrive to represent you, they give them money and they forget you."

Illegal strike
Accordingly, Malema called on workers to continue their industrial action and also prevent any work from being carried out on Shaft One.

"The liquidators' needs to ensure workers must be paid first. We must stand united, comrades. We must fight together because if we don't the whites will throw the contract workers away like toilet paper," he said.

Among those who attended Malema's meeting were workers fired from the nearby Gold One International, the prospective buyer of Aurora's mines. Gold One International confirmed it had fired 1 044 workers for embarking on an illegal strike.

"The workers were in an illegal strike and we asked them to come back and they refused … so we dismissed 1 044 workers," spokesperson Grant Stuart said.

The workers wanted a minimum wage of R6 500.

Stuart said the company won an urgent court interdict which declared the strike illegal. Workers were fired and when the matter was appealed, the court upheld the previous decision, Stuart said.

In April, Gold One and Goliath Gold put up a R70-million bid to buy Aurora's assets, with a view to build at least four new mines in the area. – Additional reporting by Sapa.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

‘Let ANC deal with its leaders facing corruption charges,’ Ramaphosa tells parliament

The president was answering questions before parliament, where he also told the EFF to allow the courts to decide on the matter of the CR17 bank statements

Mabuza asked to account for why ministers were seated next to Malema in Senekal

MPs can’t seem to stop the house from degenerating into screaming matches, even during virtual sittings, as exhibited when the deputy president answered questions in the NCOP on Wednesday.

EFF eyes municipalities ahead of 2021 local government elections

EFF leader Julius Malema says the party is preparing to govern in many municipalities from next year. It is also launching a programme to defend the rights of farm workers

EFF assault case postponed

The case of assault against EFF leader Julius Malema and member of Parliament Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has been postponed because the court in Randburg did not allow the media to broadcast the case

Clicks-bait: EFF MP’s new parole probe

Kenny Motsamai, a parolee who is also an EFF MP, could be sent back to jail if correctional services finds he violated his parole conditions

EFF on a collision course with dissident black women

The party’s response to journalists and those who speak against them reveal a consistent pattern of misogyny
Advertising

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

Limpopo big-game farmer accused of constant harassment

A family’s struggle against alleged intimidation and failure to act by the authorities mirrors the daily challenges farm dwellers face

Did Botswana execute ‘poachers’ ?

The Botswana Defence Force’s anti-poaching unit has long been accused of a ‘shoot to kill’ policy. Over 20 years the unit has killed 30 Namibians and 22 Zimbabweans

Zondo tightens his grip with criminal complaint against Zuma

The state capture commission’s star witness now faces a criminal complaint and another summons

Sharp sting of the Green Scorpions

Crime busters secure a 97% conviction rate and register more criminal dockets for range of crimes
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…