, MARIKANA, South Africa, Aug 21 – Rabblerousing South African politician Julius Malema on Tuesday laid murder charges against the police for the killing of 34 striking Lonmin minerworkers.
“We are here to open a case because we feel very strongly that when a murder has happened, there must be a case opened,” Malema told reporters outside the police charge office near the mine in Marikana.
“We feel that there is no case opened to investigate the murder,” said Malema, adding that a case of murder, assault and attempted murder had now been opened.
Malema, whose fiery outbursts resulted in his expulsion from the ruling African National Congress (ANC), was accompanied by miners and community leaders.
Police on August 16 opened fire on a crowd of protesting workers – armed with machetes, clubs and some with firearms – mowing to death 34 of them and wounding 78 others.
Police are investigating the 34 deaths, and the police watchdog is probing police conduct in the clash.
In addition, President Jacob Zuma is setting up a commission of inquiry to investigate the murders.
It was Malema’s second visit to the mining town since the killings.
Addressing the striking workers on Saturday, Malema laid the blame on Zuma.
“President Zuma presided over the massacre of our people, he must step down,” Malema told the crowd.
He was booted from the ANC in April for fomenting divisions within the party’s ranks.