Agence France Presse
Saturday 25 August 2012
Last Update 25 August 2012 3:19 am
JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s largest labor federation Cosatu yesterday slammed firebrand politician Julius Malema for hijacking the Marikana strike, in which 44 people have died, for his own political gain.
Malema, who was expelled from the ruling African National Congress earlier this year for his fiery outbursts, has called for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma over the fatal shooting by police of 34 workers during a wildcat strike at platinum giant Lonmin’s Marikana mine last week.
Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi called Malema “a wealthy, essentially right-wing leader,” accusing him of taking advantage of the Marikana bloodbath to incite workers to quit the dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
“Julius must stop what he is doing.... It’s not helping him, it’s helping nobody to foment divisions in society just because he is expelled from ANC,” Vavi said.
Cosatu is part of the ANC’s governing alliance, and the NUM is one of the labor federation’s most powerful members.
Malema had on Thursday told a memorial service held for the slain miners that the country must brace for mining revolution unless workers’ conditions improve drastically.
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