Malema: Those in power want us to forget Marikana massacre

Julius Malema has told thousands of miners and community members in Marikana that 16 August 2012 must never be forgotten.

EFF leader Julius Malema (C) at the five years commemoration of the Marikana massacre. Picture:  Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

MARIKANA - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says those in power want the nation to forget the brutality that was unleashed against the Marikana miners.

Malema is commemorating five years since the mass shooting at the platinum mine along with other political and religious leaders.

A total of 44 people were killed during the violent and unprotected strike at Lonmin Platinum in 2012; 34 of them at the hands of police.

The EFF leader has told thousands of miners and community members in Marikana that 16 August 2012 must never be forgotten.

β€œThe reason we came here is because our struggle is to remember against forgetting. Those who are in power will want us to forget the brutality which was unleashed by the police.”

The red berets leader says 16 August is a day that must be remembered around the world, on which government killed innocent workers.

Malema, who launched his breakaway political party in Marikana, says this day should be commemorated in the same way as Youth Day.

β€œ16 August must be like 16 June [1976] because there is nothing different. Workers were killed by the government.”

For many surviving miners and relatives of the victims, not much has changed.

This community continues to live in squalor, while bereaved families say they are still waiting for compensation and no one has been prosecuted for the murders.

Malema also vowed to help mining union Amcu to build more houses; last year the EFF donated R1 million to the cause and he said his party would contribute more.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane was also there and said that community and the nation will not rest until what they call the dictator is gone.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)