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Malema not exploiting miners - Shivambu

Suspended ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu has hit back at Julius Malema critics.

Expelled ANCYL president Julius Malema arrives at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in the North West on 18 August 2012. He plans to mediate with striking workers and management. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Suspended African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) spokesperson Floyd Shivambu on Saturday hit back at accusations that expelled leader Julius Malema has been exploiting workers at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

Shivambu released a statement through the "Friends of the League', a platform used by Malema's supporters.

The response comes after Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi warned against "political opportunists" who were exploiting the workers.

Thirty-four people were killed last week Thursday when police opened fire on Lonmin miners who had been on a wildcat strike.

A further 10 people were killed in violence in the days leading up to the police shooting.

Malema has been in Marikana since last week Friday, addressing miners.

He also accompanied some workers to the police station to open murder charges against the cops that were involved in the shooting.

The expelled ANCYL leader has been lambasting government at Marikana, claiming that officials did nothing to avert the shooting that claimed the lives of striking miners.

He also called President Jacob Zuma and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to step down following the tragedy.