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South Africa's firebrand politician Julius Malema today made a fresh call for the nationalisation of strife-hit mines as strikes spread to the world's top platinum producer.
“We are calling for mining change in South Africa. We want the mines nationalised. We want the workers paid a living wage... and somebody has to listen,” he told Radio Talk Radio 702.
“But maybe this call has been ridiculed... by the authorities and mining bosses,” Malema said.
“Now we want to show them that we mean business. We are going to be engaging in very peaceful yet radical and militant action that will hit straight into the pockets of white monopoly capital.”
Malema, who was convicted of hate speech and expelled from the ruling ANC party for ill discipline earlier this year, has used the miners discontent to launch fresh attacks on President Jacob Zuma and his government.
The ANC holds a crucial party election at the end of this year.
Malema has toured mining sites to fire up support for broader strikes to demand a basic salary of 12,500 rands ($1,500) Ä a threefold increase on the industry average.
His actions have sent jitters across a sector that accounts for a fifth of South African GDP and is a mainstay of Africa's leading economy.