CityPress/Sapa, 16 June 2014
President Jacob Zuma must suffer, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has said.
“Zuma is not sick, he is a troubled man. We do not wish him well, we wish him long suffering,” Malema said yesterday at a post-election rally in Marikana outside Rustenburg in North West.
“He must suffer until he takes responsibility for the killing of mine workers.
“He killed your husbands, brothers and sons. How does he expect to be at peace when he had killed so many people? The spirits are troubling him now.”
Malema was referring to the death of 34 mine workers in 2012 in Marikana.
They were shot dead in a clash with police on August 16 2012.
A week before, 10 people including two policemen and two security guards were killed during a violent wildcat strike at Lonmin.
Rock-drill operators had rejected representation by the National Union of Mineworkers and spearheaded the strike with a demand for a monthly salary of R12 500.
Zuma was given time off to rest last week, with his party the ANC’s secretary-general Gwede Mantashe citing the aftereffects of a gruelling election campaign, which had taken its toll on all party officials.
Zuma was expected to resume work tomorrow.
Malema, expelled as the president of the ANC Youth League in 2012, said the government had failed the people of Marikana and had failed to take responsibility for the deaths there.
“The ANC never loved you. They killed our people and never take responsibility for that.”
He said the EFF would never abandon residents of Marikana.
“We will die with you and [be] buried next to you because we are one. We will never abandon you,” he said.
Malema was in Nkaneng informal settlement in Wonderkop near Marikana to thank residents for voting for the EFF in the May 7 general election.
Voters gave the party the third-highest support in Parliament after the ANC and the Democratic Alliance.
Meanwhile, news was eagerly awaited over whether a proposed deal to end a strike in the platinum sector, which began in January, had been accepted.
Again, workers were demanding R12 500, which Malema earlier said they should hold out for.
Meanwhile, the EFF sent condolences to the family of the late secretary of Parliament, Michael Coetzee.
“The EFF was looking forward to working with him in the next term of the fifth democratic Parliament. May his soul rest in perfect peace,” said spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
Coetzee died on Friday. He was diagnosed with cancer several years ago.
He joined Parliament in 2002 as its deputy secretary after being secretary of the Gauteng legislature for a number of years. Coetzee was appointed secretary of Parliament in 2012.
Coetzee leaves behind his wife Bridgette, son Matthew, and mother.