Malema: Lonmin is still the enemy

The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters has spoken at the Marikana tribute.

Economic Freedom Fighters members, Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu at one year anniversary at Lonmin's Marikana mine where 34 striking platinum workers were shot dead by police on 16 August 2012. Picture: Christa Van der Walt/EWN

MARIKANA - Julius Malema says the ANC government and Lonmin have blood on their hands.

The firebrand politician blamed them for the deaths of 34 miners during clashes in Marikana last year.

He says they need to take responsibility for the killings.

Miners cheered as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader took to the stage at the North West mine on Friday where a commemoration rally is taking place one year after the deadly shootings which made international headlines.

The former ANC Youth League leader, who has supported the miners cause from the beginning, has turned on his former party.

"Lonmin, together with the ANC government, has killed our people. You've got blood on your hands, blood of innocent people, and that's why we're here today."

Malema told the crowd the shootings could have been prevented.

"If you, Lonmin, had agreed to meet these workers, we would not have had blood. You refused to meet them."

He says the fight isn't over and Lonmin will remain an enemy until workers receive a R12,500 salary.

Ten people, including two police officers, were also killed prior to the shooting.

The overwhelming message at the commemoration, though, is "never again".

Bishop Jo Seoka, a passionate supporter of the miners, says there must be no more bloodshed.

"Never again will God's people be slaughtered like animals."

For many, life continues as normal at Marikana, but in reality nothing has changed since the tragedy last year.

Sporadic killings have continued in the area, with the latest victim a female shop steward affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

She was shot outside Lonmin's Rowland shaft on Monday.

Details of her death and the investigation are still few, while the NUM's rivals the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) have denied any involvement.

The NUM declined an invitation to Friday's events from Amcu, saying they had hijacked the day from Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

The ruling ANC also chose to boycott proceedings, saying the event had become politicised by the likes of Amcu.