Zuma to deal with Marikana instigators

President Jacob Zuma is planning to take action against those who influence striking miners.

President Jacob Zuma addresses workers in Marikana, on 22 August 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday said government is planning to take action soon against people who influence striking miners.

In a clear reference to expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, Zuma told the National Assembly he had been engaging with the ministers concerned, to deal with the situation.

Malema has been very vocal about his support for the miners. He suggested a monthly strike to highlight their plight.

Earlier, Zuma was questioned in the National Assembly about the ongoing Marikana strike and his plans to stabilise growing unrest in the mining sector.

At least 34 miners were killed during clashes with the police at the mine in August.

The miners were demanding a salary of R12,500.

The illegal strike has since spread to other mines, including Aurora, Anglo Platinum and Gold Fields.

Congress of the People (Cope) MP Papi Kganare referred to Malema as a "political Frankenstein" and a threat to the security of the country.

On Wednesday, Malema met with South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members in Johannesburg.

The soldiers had invited Malema to listen to their grievances.

The government slammed Malema for addressing the soldiers.

Kganare also wanted to know why the president blamed Lonmin for the lack of proper housing for miners when that was the case across the country.

Zuma hit back and said the progress of upgrading hostels to family homes had been slow at the Lonmin mine.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said the Marikana tragedy had revealed "serious fault lines in the country".

She wanted to know if the president thought smaller unions should be allowed to negotiate.

To which he replied, with much heckling from the gallery, "In a democracy, the majority prevails."