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Former ANC chief arrives at Marikana

posted 18 Aug 2012, 07:55 by Mpelembe   [ updated 18 Aug 2012, 07:55 ]

Axed president of the African National Congress Youth League and political rebel Julius Malema arrives at Marikana mine site where 34 striking miners died. Sunita Rappai reports.

SOUTH AFRICA-MINE PROTEST/MALEMA - Cheers for former African National Congress (ANC) youth leader Julius Malema as he arrives in Marikana on Saturday - two days after 34 miners were shot dead by police.

The political firebrand, expelled from the ANC last year for sowing divisions within the party, had previously called for nationalization of the mines and seizure of white-owned land.

Tensions are continuing to run high in the region with police on high alert to prevent a re-occurrence of Thursday's massacre.

Images of the police opening fire on the striking platinum miners have made headlines worldwide and rekindled memories of South Africa's apartheid era.

Police say they were acting in self defence after being charged by thousands of miners armed with machetes and sticks.

Before Thursday, 10 people had died in nearly a week of conflict between rival unions at the Lonmin plant.

The London headquartered company has been forced to shut down all its South African platinum operations which account for 12 percent of global output.