Blame should be shared

2015-07-08 06:00

MAITSE WA MOLOI, Westdene, Bloemfontein:

RECENTLY, Pres. Jacob Zuma released a summary of the controversial Marikana report, the full Farlam Report is more than 600 pages according to the Presidency.

To me, the summarised report looked very skeletal and barely filled a page.

There are always two sides to a coin, much of the blame has focused on Riah Phiyega, National Police Commissioner, this is a minor dent in the cabinet as a whole.

I understand and agree with the commission’s findings, that the deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, had nothing that could link him to the shootings.

As for the other ministers involved, I am not really sold about their innocence.

One has to bear in mind, that as complicated as the report is, the strikers should also share the blame.

The killing of the non-striking workers and two policemen was merciless, surely that could have triggered the police to move in and behave as they did that fateful day.

The police fired their automatic rifles indiscriminately without technique or caution, at random, ultimately killing 34 miners.

There are critical questions regarding who commanded the police force, Phiyega or Provincial Commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo, or perhaps someone in a high office with a remote control in his hand. I doubt the truth will ever come out. I also doubt that the Marikana lawyers will find it easy in court to claim damages.

However, there is a growing discontent among South African judges and government.

The Marikana lawyers might find it easy to pursue litigation against state and government to claim compensation, if a sitting judge has some unfinished business with the government led by Zuma.

I feel sorry for the families of the dead miners, policemen and the security guards.

The miners have to take the blame because of the illegal firearms, knives and many other dangerous weapons used in the incident.

While dealing with the Marikana saga, South Africans should not make a lifetime error that will make a policeman see himself as an enemy of the people rather than a helper.

Whoever is involved in this should acknowledge the fact that police are still needed to protect the nation.

What comes out of Dali Mpofu’s mouth are words used for revenge. Personally, I have respect for Mpofu as a person, but as a lawyer, no.

Moses Mathinjwa should also shoulder the blame as the national commissioner of Police, and if possibly face the lawsuit from families of the deceased.

Just because people are illiterate, that does not give anyone the upper hand to move them around like pawns on a chess board.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) should also be blamed for their blatant oversight of the anger of the miners and their negligent mediation as a union.

In all fairness, what South Africans should learn from all of this, is that some strikes are protected – but conditionally. Armed action and radicalism during protest strikes is prohibited by law, our courts will never protect such behaviour.

Phiyega should not worry, she too will get a golden handshake.

If it happens that the Marikana miners’ lawyers are successful and win their case, the government will not be the loser, but tax-payers will bear the brunt X and that is something that I am sure will not materialise

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