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Julius Malema vows to help Marikana victims

Julius Malema addressed thousands of people at the Marikana commemoration rally.

FILE: There was a warm welcome by the mining community as Malema arrived. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says he going to teach government how to look after the poor and has vowed to build houses for the widows of the Marikana victims.

Malema addressed thousands of people who gathered at the scene of the shooting where 34 miners lost their lives two years ago.

It was described as one of the most violent police operations in post-apartheid South Africa.

There was a warm welcome by the mining community as Malema arrived. He says this is the home of the EFF and they will continue supporting the miners and their fight for a living wage.

Malema says government took away the breadwinners of the families.

"To them, whatever commitments they have made, they did not mend them. We are going to build houses."

Widows holding onto red candles to symbolise the blood that was spilt. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

Malema says miners must continue supporting the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and protecting it's leader Joseph Mathunjwa who has fought for higher wages.

Earlier the names of the 34 miners who were gunned down by police in Marikana two years ago were read out.

A moment of silence was observed at the scene of the shooting where the widows are sitting on a stage that has been erected below the Koppie.

They were holding onto a red candle which symbolises the blood that was spilled.

Advocate Dali Mpofu who is representing the miners at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry says this is a day for mourning.

"We are here to observe and we have invited the families of all those who died in the genocide."

Families of the victims are also speaking about the heartache and sorrow that they've been dealing with, saying they're still waiting for real answers as to why the police used maximum force on protesters who were simply fighting for a higher wage.