Malema: Apartheid was better
Blacks are worse off than under apartheid, expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema said yesterday.
"We are worse [off] than we were during the times of apartheid. We are being killed by our own people. We are being oppressed by our own government," he told workers at the Aurora mine in Grootvlei, Springs, on the East Rand.
The mine was one of two run by President Jacob Zuma's nephew, Khulubuse, and former president Nelson Mandela's grandson, Zondwa. The mines were liquidated last year.
Malema told the workers that politicians would not help them because they benefited from the mines and had shares in them.
"Every mine has a politician inside. They give them money every month, they call it shares. But it is a protection fee to protect whites against the workers."
He said the fact that the Aurora crisis had lasted for four years showed there was no leadership in the country.
Aurora Empowerment Systems bought the mines when the previous owners, Pamodzi Gold, went into liquidation. Since then workers have not been paid and the mines have been stripped of assets.
Malema told the workers that they should form a committee to speak to lawyers and present their complaints to the liquidators of Aurora.
"We are going to lead a mining revolution in this country. We are going to each mine. We will [ make] these mines ungovernable until the boers come to the table," he said.
"We want them to give you a minimum wage of R12500. These people can afford R12500. Mining in South Africa amounts to trillions of rands."
The prospective buyers of Aurora mines, Gold One, have reportedly fired more than 1500 workers who went on strike demanding a minimum wage of R6500. The miners claimed management replaced them with contract workers.