The Marikana tragedy was being used to achieve certain results at the ANC's elective conference in December, NUM president Senzeni Zokwana said in Johannesburg on Thursday.
"Those who have an agenda and want certain results at ANC conference are using this tragedy... at the expense of miners."
Zokwana was speaking on behalf of the National Union of Mineworkers at the Gauteng memorial service for those killed at Lonmin's Marikana mine.
Police opened fire on striking workers last Thursday, killing 34 and wounding 78. At least 10 other people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in the week before, bringing the death toll to 44.
Zokwana asked why strikers were armed during the illegal strike.
"Could this have been about wages? If yes, then why the arms, why sangomas?"
Most of the dead were mutilated with some body parts taken, Zokwana claimed.
He said those "pushing a political agenda" had descended on the mourners and the miners, "pumping fire" onto them.
"Like vultures, they have descended on them without any sympathy for them at all."
Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane was expected to speak at the service.