Marikana shooting boosts Malema – analyst

An analyst believes Julius Malema has secured major political points following the Marikana tragedy.

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

CAPE TOWN - A political analyst on Friday said in spite of negative public perceptions of Julius Malema, he has secured valuable support after speaking out against the government over the Marikana tragedy.

The expelled ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader repeatedly lashed the government and President Jacob Zuma over their handling of the matter.

Malema also called for Zuma and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's resignation, saying the bloodbath happened under their watch.

Analyst Herald Pakendorf said Zuma's image, and that of the ANC and the state, have been badly tarnished.

"The fact that he [Zuma] did not appear immediately cost him. Julius Malema certainly took over and politically, he came up much better than Zuma."

Meanwhile, it was revealed on Thursday that the arrested miners would face 44 charges of murder and public violence charges.

It is understood authorities resurrected old apartheid legislation to hold the 270 Lonmin miners responsible for the murder.

Malema described the charges as senseless.

"You can't say you don't know who killed those workers."

On Tuesday, Malema said government was losing control over the masses.

He called on the striking miners not to give up the fight for better salaries.