JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Miners and their families have welcomed expelled politician Julius Malema to the site where 34 South African miners were killed this week.
Malema, the former youth leader of the governing African National Congress, told the thousands who gathered there Saturday that police had no right to shoot, even if the miners had opened fire first.
Family members continue to hunt for loved ones missing since Thursday's shootings. Women say they don't know if their husbands and sons are among the dead, or among the 78 wounded or some 256 arrested by police on charges from public violence to murder.
Malema is the first politician to address the miners at the site during a more than weeklong saga in which 10 people were killed before Thursday's shootings -- including two police officers butchered to death and two mine security guards whom strikers burned alive in their vehicle. He says he came because the government had turned its back on the strikers.