Malema allies 'disgusted' by torture reports

The Friends of the Youth League are 'disgusted' over reports alleging miners were tortured to find out whether Malema incited violence at Marikana.

The Friends of the Youth League are 'disgusted' over reports alleging miners were tortured to find out whether Malema incited violence at Marikana.

"We are disgusted by attempts of the state security apparatuses, particularly the badly run, inefficient and useless national intelligence to link Julius Malema to the events," said spokesperson Floyd Shivambu in a statement.

He said the FYL knew of ministers who were "hell-bent" on linking Malema to the events at Marikana.

On August 16, police fired on striking miners, killing 34 and wounding 78 and arresting another 270.

On Sunday, City Press reported that Colonel Nkosana "Killer" Ximba had made the incitement claim to his superiors.

Asked about the alleged torture, he said: "Did you see me there? Go and do an investigation before talking such rubbish".

Ximba has been implicated in the death of Oupa Ramogibe, the love rival of suspended police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. Charges have been withdrawn pending an inquest currently underway.

The City Press report was based on information from two official sources, which claimed standard procedure was not followed when the miners were booked out of their cells.

Incitement claims
It reported that the State Security Agency was asked to investigate the incitement claim, but could not verify it.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate told the newspaper it was probing allegations of police assaults at five police stations, but was not aware of the torture claim.

The Mail & Guardian this week reported that North West police deputy commissioner Lieutenant General William Mpembe had been accused of being present when some Lonmin miners were assaulted in custody.

The M&G was reliably informed that Mpembe was one of 10 police officers accused of visiting police stations where the miners were held after the massacre at Marikana last month. The group was accused of assaulting the miners after visiting them in their cells, allegedly to search them.

The M&G learnt that the miners claimed the group tried to persuade them not to lay complaints against the police for the shootings at Marikana, and had tried to intimidate them to get confessions.

About 94 cases of assault have been opened against police, although many more affidavits have been taken.
In some cases, the alleged victims were beaten so badly that they were unable to open their eyes.

Shivambu said the involvement of the FYL and Malema in Marikana and other mines, was to represent hope for the people involved and to help find solutions.

'Rented dogs'
"Now attempts by the state, and their rented dogs ... are barking all over the media spreading conspiracies and rumours that our involvement in the Marikana events was bought and intended to destabilise the South African government."

He said that the mineworkers were not "fools" and knew who could best represent their interests.

"So attempts to criminalise those who voice workers' interests will forever fail."

Shivambu also likened the current government to that of the apartheid regime.

"Under apartheid, those who were arrested were tortured in an attempt to implicate leaders, and that is exactly what is happening today."

He said the FYL would not stop associating with the struggles of the oppressed people in the country. – Staff reporter, Sapa

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