At last Malema reveals his aims
JULIUS Malema yesterday finally admitted to the true intentions of his sudden interest in the affairs of the country's mines.
The expelled ANC Youth League president revealed that he planned to spread the groundswell of anger and unrest that brought Lonmin's Marikana mine to a standstill about four weeks ago to South Africa's other mines.
He sent the ominous warning to mining houses before an attentive audience of about 2000 striking miners at Gold Fields Driefontein mine near Carletonville, west of Johannesburg.
He further revealed that his home province of Limpopo would be his next destination in a rapidly growing campaign to destabilise the mining industry.
Malema is today expected to address members of the South African National Defence Force in Lenasia, who have claimed that the government was not addressing their demands.
The trip to Limpopo, Malema confirmed, would culminate in a call for a national mining strike that would render the industry "ungovernable".
However, he also revealed that his call for a national strike was aimed at ridding the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) of its leaders - general-secretary Frans Baleni and president Senzeni Zokwana.
Malema said: "There must be a national strike in all the mines calling for the NUM leadership to step down. As long as Zokwana and Baleni are still leading NUM, there will never be progress."
He also challenged Baleni to publicly declare all his sources of income, including a claimed R1-million Baleni is said to earn annually from sitting on the boards of various mining companies.
The Driefontein miners downed tools on Monday, demanding a wage of R12500 as well as money ranging from R10,000 to R15,000 which was apparently promised to them "two years ago".
Victor Montshi, 33, an assistant fitter who earns R4,800 a month, told Sowetan that in December mine managers promised to equalise salaries across all of Gold Fields operations.
Since that did not happen, Montshi said, miners opted to go on strike.
Earlier in the day, a tense stand-off between striking miners and Gold Fields security threatened to turn violent when word apparently got out that Malema had been barred from entering the mine premises.
About 200 miners wielding makeshift weapons stormed out of Masizakhele Stadium to meet Malema's two-car convoy at the entrance. Several miners could be heard screaming Uphi? (where is he?)