South Africa Marikana: Julius Malema In Rallying Call

South African activist Julius Malema says mineworkers must put down tools until wage demands are met, amid a deadly dispute at a platinum mine.

Striking workers gather outside the Marikana mine in South Africa's North West province, Aug. 23, after the funeral of those killed in the police massacre there a week earlier.

South African activist Julius Malema says mineworkers must put down tools until wage demands are met, amid a deadly dispute at a platinum mine.

Mr Malema told the BBC he was not calling for violence, but said workers must refuse to sell their labour.

Mr Malema is set to visit the Marikana mine on Thursday, a day after 3,000 strikers marched to rally support.

Some 34 miners were shot dead by police on 16 August. More miners charged over the incident will be freed on Thursday.

'Group of thugs'

Mr Malema, the former head of the governing African National Congress Youth League, was expelled from the ANC earlier this year after challenging President Jacob Zuma.

Mr Malema had earlier called for striking workers to make the mines ungovernable.

He told the BBC's Newsday: "People are just being sensational about the word 'ungovernable'. I mean, they must put down their tools. I'm not calling for violence. I'm not calling for killing of anybody.

"Workers must refuse to sell their labour. Enough is enough, unless capital is prepared to pay enough living wage."

Earlier the South African government said it would not tolerate any incitement to violence or what it called unwarranted provocation.

Mr Malema said foreign investors had "stolen everything in this country - we are prepared to do everything to get back what belongs to us".

He said the only answer was nationalisation of the mines.

He said: "Let's take our resources. Let's pay mineworkers. Let's build schools for our children. We do not call for wholesale nationalisation - we call for a majority sharehold by the state, with the participation of the private sector."

Mr Malema also delivered a warning to the ANC, saying it had been "hijacked by a group of thugs - there for themselves and their families".

He said he would "take it back into its rightful place - the hands of the people".

Judicial inquiry

More workers at the Marikana mine are due to be released on Thursday after controversial murder charges against them were dropped.

The first group of detainees was freed on Monday - some making grim allegations about the conduct of police who shot dead their colleagues.

Wednesday's march at the Lonmin-owned Marikana mine was the biggest demonstration there since the deadly intervention by police sparked outrage.

A judicial inquiry is investigating the incident.

Meanwhile, a fresh round of talks mediated by Church leaders is seeking to find a negotiated settlement between strikers and managers at Lonmin, the world's third biggest platinum producer.

Some 270 miners and other detained protesters were charged with murder last week under apartheid-era "common-purpose" rules - but the charges were greeted with such outrage that they have now been dropped.

Some of the freed men have made serious allegations against the police, saying they shot dead protesters who were begging for their lives or trying to flee.

A spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Directorate, Moses Dlamini, told the Associated Press news agency that the directorate was investigating all allegations lodged with it and would report its findings to the commission of inquiry established by President Zuma.

The miners, who say they are currently earning between 4,000 rand (£300; $475) and 5,000 rand a month, want their salary increased to 12,500 rand.