We apologised for Marikana - Mthethwa

2014-07-15 20:16
(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - The government has repeatedly apologised for the death of Marikana miners, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Tuesday.

Former police minister Nathi Mthethwa was cross-examined at the inquiry's public hearings in Pretoria by Advocate Dali Mpofu for the arrested and injured miners.

"Why is it that representatives of the state, like yourself, find it difficult to apologise, to say they are sorry for the massacre?" Mpofu asked.

"You don't think that the rules of common decency and batho pele [people first] demand from you that where responsible for the deaths, justified or unjustified, that you apologise to the people affected?"

Mthethwa said the government was looking forward to the conclusion of the Farlam inquiry to get to the facts about what transpired at Marikana.

"We are here on a fact-finding mission, when the results come out and they point to the state, I don't think there will be anything which will make the state not to apologise when it should apologise.

"There will be no qualms from the state, if the state has to apologise."

Mthethwa said remorse had to be shown in the matter, particularly to the people who died.

The inter-ministerial committee went to Marikana and apologised for what happened, Mthethwa said.

"Ministers apologised."

Mpofu asked Mthethwa to repeat the apology.

Mthethwa said: "We know that it is not going to heal people immediately, but we are remorseful. It should never happen again.

"We are pained with what happened and we apologise [for] the lives that were affected by this because it was not supposed to happen."

Mpofu said: "Well, you don't want to give a straightforward apology. You can just say 'we are sorry'."

Mthethwa responded: "No, don't be sensational. I am saying it for the second time, we apologise for what happened."

Mpofu retorted: "No, listen here, minister, you are just a witness when you are sitting there. This is not a cabinet meeting."

Mthethwa, now arts and culture minister, was police minister when 34 people, mostly striking Lonmin mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police in Marikana, near Rustenburg, North West, on 16 August 2012.

More than 70 were wounded, and another 250 arrested at the company's platinum mining operations.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed. The commission is investigating the 44 deaths.

Read more on:    nathi mthethwa  |  dali mpofu  |  pretoria  |  marikana inquiry

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may meet...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.