Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema is seen addressing supporters during a march to the SABC's head office in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 29 April 2014 over its refusal to air an Economic Freedom Fighters' television election commercial. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

eMalahleni - Economic Freedom Fighters' leader Julius Malema on Thursday called on workers to remember the slain Marikana miners when they vote on May 7.

“When you wake up, say your vote will honour the Marikana

workers,” he told hundreds of people at the Pumas Rugby Stadium in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga during a Workers' Day rally. It was organised by the National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu).

He was greeted by loud cheers when he entered the stadium.

“When you vote, you must say those who killed workers will never get workers' votes.”

Malema called on voters to teach the African National Congress a lesson. He said no one from the party had gone to Marikana to apologise for the killings in August 2012.

On August 16 that year, 34 people, mostly striking miners, were shot dead and 78 people were wounded when police fired on a group gathered at a hill near Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, allegedly while trying to disarm and disperse them. In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in the strike-related violence.

A few days after the killings Malema arrived in Marikana and spoke to workers, where he called on President Jacob Zuma and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to resign.

On Thursday he said workers should remember the parties that supported them.

“Their time is up, it's now time for the workers.”

Malema urged Nactu to take advantage of the vacuum left by what he said was a toothless Congress of SA Trade Unions.

“Take advantage and get all the workers. Cosatu is now a workers' desk of the ANC.”

He labelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi as a traitor who only fought for workers when he was suspended following his affair with a junior co-worker. He said Vavi came back and was now doing work for those who killed workers.

“When you kill workers, you will never be a friend of the worker,” he said.

Shopstewards should not collude with employers and continue to fight for the rights of employees.

“We want shopstewards to fight for our people. Never be demoralised, continue to fight for a better salary and better life.”

Malema said there was enough money in the country for all to share. - Sapa