The former president of the African National Congress youth wing, Julius Malema, has addressed thousands of people in Marikana township after 34 striking miners were shot dead there on Thursday.
Malema was suspended from the ANC last year for sowing divisions in the party, but that did not stop hundreds of people cheering for him on arrival.
“We took a decision that we are going to come here and listen to you one by one”, said Malema, “because we are here to listen to you and you must always welcome support”.
Despite his suspension Malema has won widespread support for his calls for nationalisation of mines and seizure of white-owned land.
The confrontation between the platinum miners and police was the bloodiest since the end of white rule in South Africa and comparisons have been made with apartheid.
As well as the 34 dead a further 78 people were injured.
The police say many of the 3000 striking drill operators were armed with machetes and sticks.
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