Marikana reaction: Phiyega, Ramaphosa must face consequences

2015-06-25 22:08
Miners Shot Down (YouTube)

Miners Shot Down (YouTube)

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Johannesburg - Opposition parties called on police commissioner Riah Phiyega to be suspended or axed and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to face the might of the law despite the Marikana report exonerating him from any involvement in the 2012 shootings.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said the Marikana commission's report seemed to place most of the blame on the SA Police Service, and called for Phiyega to be fired.

"The DA will call for nothing less than the dismissal of National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, who is clearly unfit for office," he said in a statement.

"The report has plainly found that Riah Phiyega and the SAPS leadership took a decision that they knew would result in bloodshed. They never stopped the operation when the shootings began, and they left miners to die in the dust for a full hour before medical help was called in."

EFF want Ramaphosa to be prosecuted

President Jacob Zuma read out a summary of the findings and recommendations from the Marikana commission on Thursday evening, almost three months after receiving the report.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema told PowerFM that his party would pursue the prosecution of Ramaphosa for the Marikana killings.

He said the EFF believed he was at the centre of the incident.

In a statement, Ramaphosa's office said the deputy president had noted the release of the report.

"Deputy President Ramaphosa will study the contents of the report and will in due course provide his comment. Deputy President Ramaphosa voluntarily gave evidence to the Farlam Commission with a view to assisting the Commission to reach its conclusions," his spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said.

National police spokesperson Solomon Makgale could not be reached for comment.

The Congress of the People said Phiyega could not remain in her job and it had expected Zuma to announce her resignation.

"She cannot remain after the police twice misled the commission," Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said in a statement.

"After 87 days of studying the report, we also expected the President to announce what advice he had received from his ministers about prosecuting both commissioners and other senior police officials."

The Marikana report exonerated Ramaphosa and former police minister Nathi Mthethwa and mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu, saying the executive could not be held accountable for the events on August 16.

Phiyega 'not fit to hold office'

The Inkatha Freedom Party also called for Phiyega and all police officials involved in the 2012 Marikana shooting to be suspended with immediate effect.

"The summarised findings of the report clearly indicate grave tactical and judgmental errors on the side of the national police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, and many other SAPS members involved in the tragedy at Lonmin mine," IFP MP Albert Mncwango said in a statement.

"The IFP has always contended that national police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, was never fit to hold office as she did not have the requisite training and experience coming, as she did, from a civilian background."

The commission found that Lonmin did not use its best endeavours to resolve the disputes that arose between itself and its workers who participated in the unprotected strike and between the strikers and workers who did not participate in the strike.

It also found that it had failed to ensure the safety of its workers and did not comply with housing obligations for them.

“As a company we have worked hard over the past two-and-a-half years to build a more open, transparent and mutually trustworthy environment, and in the process make Lonmin a safer, better place to work," CEO Ben Magara said in a statement.

"We have placed particular emphasis on living conditions and employee indebtedness, two burning issues that we believe will make a profound impact on the well-being of our employees. Much work has been done in this regard."

Unions rapped over knuckles

He said this was in addition to the assistance the company rendered to the widows and children of the employees who died in 2012.

The commission also rapped unions over the knuckles for not controlling their members at the time.

The National Union of Mineworkers welcomed the recommendations and findings of the Marikana commission, but said it would only speak publicly on them once it had studied the commission's report.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union could not be reached for comment.

The Chamber of Mines said it needed time to absorb and analyse all the findings made in the Marikana report.

Read more on:    cope  |  lonmin  |  da  |  chamber of mines  |  eff  |  ifp  |  riah phiyega  |  jacob zuma  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  marikana inquiry

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