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Malema slams Lonmin inquiry committee

Julius Malema called the committee set up to probe the Lonmin killings untrustworthy.

Expelled ANC Youth League President Julius Malema is seen addressing striking mineworkers at Lonmin's Marikana operations on Saturday, 18 August 2012. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Expelled ANC Youth League (ANCYL) Julius Malema on Tuesday accused the inter-ministerial committee set up to probe the Lonmin killings of having a political motive and of being untrustworthy

Malema lambasted the presidential inquiry while laying murder charges against police officers involved in Thursday's shooting. 

A total of 34 people were shot dead and 78 others wounded during the incident.

The former ANCYL leader said the committee had already reached a conclusion without even completing the investigations. 

“They said we should not jump to conclusions or point fingers. But they have already concluded that the police acted in self defence.” 

Malema also accused President Jacob Zuma of not caring about the miners in Marikana. 

“When miners were being murdered Zuma knew there was a crisis, but he left this place. Ordinarily, any president wouldn’t leave a situation where 10 people died, including two police officers.” 

Malema said Zuma is dishonest and has failed his people. 

Meanwhile, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane called on Lonmin management to be patient as workers grieve during the national week of mourning.

Workers still refuse to return to work despite Lonmin’s ultimatum. 

Striking miners said they want higher salaries, R4,500 to R12,500, and better working conditions. 

Chabane said the week of mourning was critical and Lonmin should understand the severity of the police shooting.

“This is part of reparation for those who have survived and still traumatised.

“In terms of our customs and traditions, we got a period of mourning. It does not mean we do not go to work.”

The inter-ministerial committee met with striking miners on Tuesday to update them on the work they have been doing to restore to the area. 

The group of miners became agitated when there were talks of a memorial service at the scene of the shooting, saying they do not want government involved because they did nothing to stop police from shooting their colleagues. 

(Edited by Zethu Zulu)

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