Release of Marikana report should help heal nation - ANC

2015-06-25 20:40
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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Johannesburg - The release of the Marikana report on Thursday evening finally brings to light the truth around "this tragic incident", the ANC said.

"We further trust that it should bring our nation a step closer to healing. The African National Congress once again sends its deepest condolences to the families of our compatriots who lost their lives at Marikana," national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

"We further send our sympathies to those who were injured. We reiterate the President’s [Jacob Zuma's] sentiment that such incidents have no place in a democratic South Africa."

Several steps should be taken to step up police work in situations such as those that occurred during the strike on the platinum belt in Rustenburg in the North West in August 2012, which left at least 44 people dead, Zuma read from the report.

Thirty-four of those were shot dead by the police in one day.

Zuma said the report by retired Judge Ian Farlam recommended that the public order policing unit be advised by local and international experts who have experience in dealing with crowds armed with sharp weapons and firearms.

'We should seek to unite our people'

Kodwa said the Marikana shootings could not be used to further divide South Africa.

"If anything, we should seek to unite our people to ensure that such never happens again.

"The right to peaceful strike action in South Africa is sacrosanct and we welcome the recommendations made by the Commission to strengthen the capacity of the state to discharge its duties of public order policing," he said.

"We call on government to urgently implement all the recommendations of the Commission."

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, however, said on Twitter that he was "deeply saddened tonight by the #MarikanaReport. An injustice and a betrayal of all of us as citizens. Cry the beloved the country".

The commission further recommended that national police commissioner Riah Phiyega should face an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

“The commission has also recommended that there must be an inquiry into the fitness to hold office of the national police commissioner as well as the North West provincial commissioner,” Zuma read from the summary of the commission’s report, which is over 600 pages long.

“I have written to the national commissioner to inform her of the recommendations pertaining to her,” he said.

The relevant ministers would study the report and advise Zuma on how the recommendations were being implemented.

In concluding, he said South Africa should learn from the deaths of the 44 people, and use it to build a united and peaceful society.

“The Marikana incident was a horrendous tragedy that has no place in a democracy where all citizens have a right to protest and where workers have a right to go on strike peacefully and to negotiate working conditions with their employers peacefully.”

Read more on:    anc  |  ian farlam  |  jacob zuma  |  marikana inquiry

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