Zuma: Marikana was not like apartheid

2012-11-01 15:25
President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Sapa

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Sapa

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Cape Town - People should not be pushed into thinking that South Africa was returning to an apartheid-like system following the Marikana shooting, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

Speaking at the official opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders in Parliament, Zuma said incidents like Marikana were a daily occurrence before the democratic dispensation.

"People were being killed left, right and centre," he said.

Referring to the Farlam Commission, Zuma said the country was in the process of discovering the truth about what happened during the August police shooting in which 34 people died and 78 were wounded.

"Wherever it will point, we must know what happened. There was nothing of that nature during apartheid... if anything, there would have been a huge cover-up during apartheid times.

"South Africa is a democratic country, not an apartheid country, and one incident cannot mean our system is a system that is killing people," he said.

Go back to work - Zuma

The president repeated a call for striking miners to return to their posts.

"Let me take this opportunity to reiterate that violence and intimidation must come to an end in those areas where strikes are still continuing."

Zuma said there was no need to resort to "chaos and anarchy".

"We urge workers to return to work and use the constitutional mechanisms of conducting labour relations," he said.

Zuma reminded the house of a meeting he had with business, labour and civil society last month.

He said they had agreed to respond to the urgent needs of people in key mining towns.

"These include Rustenburg, Lephalale, Emalahleni, West Rand, Welkom, Klerksdorp and Carletonville."

Zuma's remarks came as a mine in northern KwaZulu-Natal suspended operations after two men were killed.

Miners have been on strike at the Magdalena coal mine since October 17.

- SAPA

Read more on:    lonmin  |  jacob zuma  |  mining unrest  |  marikana inquiry
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