Carletonville - Expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema arrived at the Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] KDC west mine, near Carletonville, to address striking workers on Tuesday.
Security hesitated for a moment on allowing Malema in, but a crowd went to the gate to usher him through.
His black 4x4 was surrounded by miners, who chanted and sang: "Those who have not seen him [Malema] will see him today."
Production at the gold mine came to a standstill on Monday, when almost 75% of the workforce of around 15 000 downed tools.
They marched to mine management offices and handed over a memorandum of demands which included:
- the removal of the National Union of Mineworkers' (Num) branch leadership (which was also requested during a sudden strike last week);
- the equalisation of salaries across job categories (an accord for this in principle had been signed);
- the reinstatement of a number of previously suspended employees.
The workers also complained that their tax was too high and demanded a salary of R12 500, echoing the demand of striking workers at Lonmin's [JSE:LON] Marikana platinum mine, near Rustenburg.
"We are tired with our leaders," said protester Robert Jafta, who is a Num member. Jafta said he earned R4 000 a month.
The mine obtained an interdict from the Labour Court on Monday for the immediate return to work of its employees.
Malema has been touring mines and addressing disgruntled mineworkers.
He has already spoken at Lonmin, where workers have been on strike for a month with the rallying cry that their pay be raised to R12 500 a month.
Forty-four people have died in violence associated with that strike - 34 when police fired on protesters last month.
Malema also spoke at Aurora's Grootvlei mine, which is in the process of being liquidated.
The Ancyl and its parent body the ANC have been at loggerheads over the nationalisation of mines, which the league is lobbying for but the ANC has said is not feasible.
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