Malema joins strike fray
Cautions strikers they could lose the support of the community if they carried on fighting
EMBATTLED ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has told more than 7,000 dismissed Impala Platinum Mine workers not to allow white people to divide them.
Malema, who was accompanied by North West Premier and deputy secretary of the ANC Thandi Modise, told the striking miners at Freedom Park sports ground in Rustenburg that Impala was using apartheid tactics to divide its workers.
"These mines belong to us. They are on our land and if we do not benefit we must fight until we benefit. We will never side with white capitalist," Malema said.
Malema told them not to allow white people to use them, saying "you must know your rights and fight for what is rightfully yours".
"It's been a long time since white people took over our land. The mine must re-employ all of you, with benefits. You deserve it. We are not scared of them," he said.
He asked the miners not to fight and kill each other.
Since the beginning of the strike three people have been killed and shops looted.
Malema said he knew that workers could not be wrong, but fighting each other was not acceptable.
"We know the enemy, so fight the enemy and not the community."
He said they could lose the support of the community if they carried on fighting.
Malema said he was confident the employer (Impala Platinum) could afford the R9,000 demand.
He encouraged the workers to have faith in their union (National Union of Mineworkers.)
"It is your home and you cannot run away from the union," he said.
He told them to be militant and radical, but killing undermined their demands.
Modise promised the angry crowd that the ANC leadership would fight their case until they got what they wanted. She promised to return next week to give feedback.
"The ANC will never walk away from the workers. We want people to make demands in a reasonable manner. We are going to make sure there is stability in the province and here at Impala," Modise said.
Malema and Modise yesterday met with NUM and the mine management.