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Malema: Miners must protect Mathunjwa

The EFF leader says the Amcu president has the best interests of mineworkers at heart.

EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Leader Julius Malema has vowed to continue funding the platinum sector strike, saying his party will donate another R50,000 to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) today.

The party has already donated R50,000 to help fund the strike.

Malema addressed striking miners during a Youth Day event in Freedom Park, Rustenburg yesterday.

He told mineworkers that they must protect union leader Joseph Mathunjwa because he is the only person who has their best interests at heart.

He also told mineworkers they have the EFF's full support.

"Workers never turn against your president because the vultures are out there, they want to destroy him."

Malema encouraged workers to continue with the strike until their demand of a R12,500 salary is met which he says constitutes a living wage.

He said the EFF is fully behind Amcu.

Thousands of Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum went on strike in January demanding an entry level salary of R12,500.

The crippling strike could come to an end this week if a final wage agreement is signed by Amcu and platinum producers.

An announcement is expected soon on whether the strike has been resolved after the union and platinum giants agreed on a revised wage offer in principle last week.

Amcu and platinum producers met at the weekend to finalise a deal to end the five-month long strike.

Platinum producers have proposed to increase the salary of the lowest paid worker by R1,000 for two years and R950 in the third year, excluding other benefits.

The strike has already had a negative impact on the country's economy and investor confidence and has been mentioned by ratings agency Standard & Poor's as one of the reasons South Africa's credit rating was downgraded.