Zuma, leaders in pockets of mines – Malema

2012-09-11 13:57
Carien du Plessis
Expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has accused President Jacob Zuma and other ANC leaders of being in the pockets of mine bosses.

Addressing yet another crowd of miners on a wildcat strike this morning, this time at the Goldfields KTC West mines at Driefontein near Carletonville, he said: “The mines are paying millions of rands of protection money into Jacob Zuma’s trust accounts.”

Malema, who stood on the mine’s sports field surrounded by hundreds of miners sitting on the grass and on the stands, said because the “highest” leader was being paid off, “you can’t touch the mines”.

Malema said Zuma was too scared to address the miners at Marikana on the koppie after 34 were shot dead by police, until his advisers told him to go there.

Malema said when he went to the “mountain”, all the miners asked for was water to drink so that they could start with talks.

“Zuma was not there to protect the miners,” he said, but instead to assure the investors.

Malema also slammed mine workers’ union NUM general secretary Frans Baleni for being out of touch with workers.

Malema claimed Baleni made a million every year just from sitting on the boards of mines.

He also said Baleni never attended branch meetings and didn’t know the demands of workers. He called for NUM leaders to resign.

Malema also questioned where the riches of businessman and African Rainbow Minerals’ Patrice Motsepe came from, and added that ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete had shares in the mine where the meeting was being held.

He called for a national strike, five days every month, and to make the mines “ungovernable” through peaceful means until their R12 500 wage demand was met.

Malema also confirmed that he was “under heavy police investigation” because he was accused of having instigated the violence at Marikana’s Lonmin mine.

“They are doing the same thing they did under apartheid,” he said.

Malema alleged miners were being tortured to “confess” that he had started the trouble, but they refused.

Malema said he was not scared of going to prison or of being killed, because “they will never kill our ideas”.

City Press on Sunday reported that crime intelligence was investigating Malema’s role in the recent mine unrest.

Miners this morning told City Press they had been on strike since Sunday’s night shift to demand a R12 500 wage.

Some of them earn the minimum wage of just over R4 000.

One protester carried a poster saying “Juju 4 president” and another told City Press “Malema will help us”. But he couldn’t explain how.

Yet another miner said Malema only came to give them “advice” about how to achieve their demand for a wage increase.