Zuma: Inappropriate to release Marikana report without applying my mind

2015-05-27 08:10
President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Leanne Stander/Foto24

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Leanne Stander/Foto24

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The presidency will release the much-awaited Farlam Commission report before the end of June.

President Jacob Zuma made this announcement in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon while delivering the presidency budget vote.

Zuma said he had also been briefed by Judge Ian Farlam who chaired the commission of inquiry into the killing of 44 people in Marikana in August 2012.

“I established the commission because I felt our country needed to know what had happened in Marikana, where more than 40 people lost their lives.

“I know and appreciate the anxiety of those who are affected.

“However, it would be inappropriate for me to just release the report without applying my mind sufficiently. The report will be released before the end of next month,” said Zuma.

The Marikana report featured prominently in the debate – which at times threatened to degenerate into chaos as insults were traded from both sides of the House and the EFF held a silent protest with its MPs holding aloft placards with the words: “Release Marikana Report” while seated in their benches.

In fact, Zuma’s address was delayed by 12 minutes as EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, rising on “a point of privilege” demanded that Zuma address the issue of the release of the report before he tabled his budget speech.

Ndlozi argued the National Assembly had a privilege as per its rules to ask Zuma, before he took to the podium, to release the Marikana report following a request of Marikana workers.

Mbete ruled Ndlozi out of order saying he was “a stumbling block” to the House proceeding with the order of the afternoon’s agenda.

When he finally took the podium, Zuma spoke of the government’s achievements of the past year including a number of intervention measures that have been taken during that period.

He said the horrific incidents of Marikana, the recent attacks on foreign and African nationals in our country, some violent protests as well as incidents of violent crime, indicate that something is wrong in some sections of our society.

“Recently some of our people burned a train simply because it had arrived late.

“Our response to these incidents as leaders from all sectors must be accompanied by soul searching and reflection.

“We should ask ourselves why such violent incidents happen in our country, which had such an iconic transition from apartheid to democracy,” he said.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane challenged Zuma’s narrative of South Africa’s “good story to tell”.

He charged that the country had a horror story instead.

Maimane said the Marikana tragedy “showed how the president and his cronies have protected themselves at the expense of the poor”.

“Almost three years after 34 miners were brutally gunned down on 16 August 2012, the public is still waiting for answers,” he said.

Maimane said every minute that passed without the report being made public cheapened the lives of every person massacred at Marikana.

“The miners, their families, the lives of all South Africans are diminished by the president’s delay. But by withholding this report you are telling us that the lives of black workers are cheap,” he added.

Maimane called for all those responsible for the “atrocities” at Marikana to be fired and jailed.

The National Freedom Party and the United Democratic Movement also called on Zuma to release the report as soon as possible.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  marikana

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