Nehawu Strikers

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"There is nothing new in his Nazi tactics of preying on the vulnerability of the poor and inventing a bogeymen for political ends," the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) said in a statement.

"All fascists always opportunistically prey on the hungry and jobless in order to prop up their own political careers."

This week, Malema called on mine workers to go on a nation-wide strike to remove the leadership of the National Union of Mineworkers.

Nehawu accused Malema of hypocrisy and defended the NUM's record as a union.

"While Malema was attending sushi parties and benefiting in tenders, the NUM structures and leadership were busy representing mineworkers and trying to improve their lives," the union said.

It accused Malema of "irresponsible and reckless posturing" and blamed him for the death of a NUM shop steward, killed at Lonmin's Marikana mine this week.

"While Malema is using this issue to resuscitate his political career, the miners' future is being slowly destroyed and the seeds of anarchy are being planted in an already violent country."

The union said events at the Lonmin mine in Marikana, where police shot dead 34 miners, proved there was unrest in the country and that there was dissatisfaction about the gap between the rich and poor.

"There is a raging class warfare that pits the right-wing demagogues, arrogant liberals and monopoly capital against the working class."

In this environment, workers should ignore Malema and other "opportunists and political charlatans" in their desire for social justice in South Africa.

"We reiterate our call for the workers not to be confused by the opportunists and political charlatans, who are mouthing off demagogic slogans in order to confuse the poor majority and in the process hijack the revolution," Nehawu said.