Marikana: Zuma rejects links to key cop’s sudden retirement

2015-05-25 15:14
President Jacob Zuma faces a lawsuit from angry miners
Picture: GCIS

President Jacob Zuma faces a lawsuit from angry miners Picture: GCIS

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President Jacob Zuma has denied any role in the sudden retirement of North West police commissioner Lieutenant-General Zukiswa Mbobo, one of the key police figures in the investigation of the death of 34 mineworkers in Marikana.

In a statement issued today, Zuma distanced himself from Mbobo’s departure from the police after accusations that Zuma was trying to “protect” Mbobo from any possible charges that may result from the Farlam Commission of Inquiry investigating the mineworkers’ deaths.

City Press reported last month that the investigative report into the deaths by Judge Ian Farlam – which is yet to be released by Zuma – recommended that Mbobo be rapped over the knuckles, along with national commissioner Riah Phiyega, for the orders that were given to police in the shooting that left 34 mineworkers dead.

Zuma’s denial comes after Andries Nkome, the lawyer representing mineworkers who were injured and arrested, their families and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union accused Zuma of trying to "protect" Mbobo. They alleged that the president had a hand in Mbobo’s retirement.

But the presidency said that anyone who repeated Nkome’s allegations, including that Phiyega had been offered another government post by Zuma at a meeting between the two, was “perpetuating a lie”.

“The presidency rejects the false statements made by Marikana defence attorney, Andries Nkome, on the weekend in relation to the provincial and national police commissioners.

“The president does not manage the careers of provincial police commissioners and as such has nothing to do with the reported retirement. Linking the president to this matter and insinuating that it could be linked to the processing of the Marikana report by the president is malicious and mischievous,” said a statement issued by Zuma’s spokesperson, Harold Maloka

The statement did not mention the court action aimed at forcing Zuma to release the report but only rejected any link between Zuma and Mbobo’s reported retirement.

Nkome told City Press today that they were busy putting the final touches to the high court application to force Zuma to release the Farlam Marikana report into the deaths.

Nkome spoke from the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, where he said they would file papers by the end of the day to force Zuma to release the report.

“We are busy right now waiting for a date for when we can argue the matter and we will file that application to compel the president to release the report as soon as possible,” said Nkome.

The lawyers had given Zuma until 2pm on Sunday to indicate when he would release the report or face court action.

Two weeks ago Zuma told Parliament that he was still reading the report and would not commit to a date of release when asked when he would publish the report he received almost two months ago.

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