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‘People of Marikana are brave, fearless’

Julius Malema has compared the Marikana community to the struggle fighters in Soweto.

Miners listen to proceedings whilst sitting on the Koppie on the two year anniversary of the Marikana massacre. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says the people of Marikana are the brave leaders of this country who have been let down by government.

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

The shootings were described as one of the most violent police operations in post-apartheid South Africa.

Malema says despite the poor living conditions here and the tragedy, government has done nothing to improve the lives of the Marikana community.

Malema says Marikana is the EFF's home and they will teach government how to look after the poorest of the poor by building houses for the widows who lost their husbands two years ago.

"You are the brave people. You are fearless. You are leading from the front."

Dali Mpofu and Bishop Jo Seoka pay tribute to those who lost their lives in Marikana two years ago. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

Political leaders including the Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Mmusi Maimane and Congress of the People (Cope)'s Masiwa Lekota as well as thousands of miners and their families are in attendance.

Earlier Malema compared the community of Marikana to the struggle fighters in Soweto during apartheid.

"You are the Soweto of today. During apartheid, Soweto used to lead the struggle against oppression. Today people look up to Marikana."

Malema says government is to blame for the deaths of the 34 miners.