Malema urges miners to fight for higher salaries

Expelled ANCYL leader Julius Malema in Marikana in the North West. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.
Hundreds of people paid tribute to the Marikana miners who lost their lives in a shootout with police, in a memorial service on 23 August 2012. EWN's Taurai Maduna reports.
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MARIKANA - Expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema told Marikana miners on Thursday to keep fighting for salary increases because government has let them down.

Malema lashed out at government during a mass memorial in the North West for the 34 miners who were killed in a clash with police last week.

His outburst turned the memorial into a political rally.

Before Malema took the stage, the event was peaceful and miners prayed and sang hymns in memory of those who died.

Malema then riled up the crowd saying government doesn't care about them calling ministers sitting in the front row cowards.

“The reason our government is failing to intervene is because our leaders are involved in these mines.”

He added that mineworkers must continue fighting for their R12,500 salary because they have created a mining revolution.

The miners became rowdy inside the packed marquee and when members from startup union AMCU arrived with their Kknobkerries, ministers walked out.

Community leaders then called for President Jacob Zuma to step down saying he did not show leadership in terms of resolving the issues.