Presidency rejects Marikana lawyer's claims

2015-05-25 13:52
A policeman shoots at miners in Marikana on August 16, 2012. (Miners Shot Down, YouTube)

A policeman shoots at miners in Marikana on August 16, 2012. (Miners Shot Down, YouTube)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has dismissed as "false" comments by a lawyer linking the presidency to the retirement of the North West police commissioner.

"The presidency rejects the false statements made by Marikana defence attorney, Andries Mkome... in relation to the provincial and national police commissioners," spokesperson Harold Maloka said in a statement.

"Mr Mkome linked President Jacob Zuma to the reported retirement of the North West police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Zukiswa Mbombo. The president does not manage the careers of provincial police commissioners and as such has nothing to do with the reported retirement."

Maloka said linking the president to Mbombo's retirement and "insinuating that it could be linked to the processing of the Marikana report" by Zuma was "malicious and mischievous".

Earlier on Monday, Mkome, representing the workers injured and arrested in the Marikana shooting, their families, and labour union Amcu, told News24 they would approach the courts on Monday "on an urgent basis of which we can be heard to ask for the president to release the report".

No other option

He said they had written to Zuma asking for him to release the report and if that did not happen, they would have no option but to approach the courts.

They had set a deadline for 14:00 on Sunday for Zuma to say when he would release the report. That deadline has now passed.

"The time for dialogue has passed. It was 14:00 yesterday and we now have no other option but to approach the court," Mkome said.

"We should be having the papers signed and should be getting a court date today [on Monday]."

The application is expected to be made in the High Court in Johannesburg.

Maloka said Mkome repeated "the already refuted allegations" that Zuma had met with national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega to discuss alternate deployment for her.

"Reports of the said meeting and alleged discussions are a complete fabrication and have been refuted by the presidency. Anyone who repeats these allegations is perpetuating a lie," he said.


Mkome earlier said that one thing his clients found outstanding was the news of Mbombo's retirement at the end of the month. They had also read reports about Phiyega's reported redeployment to another position.

"Our clients feel that certain individuals fingered in the report are being protected by the presidency. It is by no coincidence that is happening."

Last week, it was announced that Mbombo, who was at the helm during the shooting of miners at Marikana, would be leaving the SA Police Service at the end of the month.

Thirty-four people were killed near Lonmin's platinum mine near Marikana, North West, when police tried to disperse striking miners on August 16 2012. More than 78 people were injured.

Ten people, including two police officers and two Lonmin security guards, were killed in the previous week.

‘Sword of command’

According to a statement from Phiyega on Wednesday, she would have received the "sword of command" from Mbombo on Friday.

The provincial police chief testified at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry.

During her testimony, Mbombo conceded that police intervention at the mine in 2012 was a failure.

At the time she said there were blunders in the police communication systems used on the day of the shooting.

In November last year after sitting for 300 days, the commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, concluded its work.

The commission's report was handed to Zuma at the end of March.

Last week, the presidency said Zuma was still processing the commission’s report and will release it publicly "in due course".

Zuma said the commission had made some serious recommendations which required careful consideration.

Read more on:    ian farlam  |  jacob zuma  |  mahikeng  |  marikana

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