Zuma defends Marikana cops

2012-12-14 14:17
(Picture: Supplied)

(Picture: Supplied)

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

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has defended top police officials and the actions of police officers involved in the deaths of 34 striking workers at Marikana in August.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Guardian, Zuma said the unrest was a result of a dispute over wages at Lonmin platinum mine, and that the police minister or national police commissioner should not take the fall for what happened.

"Nobody expected Marikana," he said.

"Now you can't say the minister of police is responsible for that, to start the thing. When the workers were striking, they had every other kind of weapon in their hands. In fact, long before the shooting, 10 people had died, including two policemen, two security policemen.

"How many other people would have died if, for example, police did not move to disarm these people? Nobody can tell. At a spur of the moment, a mistake happened. Now if such a mistake happened, you throw the minister away? I don't know on what basis," he told the British newspaper.

Zuma added that the establishment of the judicial commission of inquiry into the shootings shows how much South Africa has changed.

"You would not have had that during apartheid days. That's the beauty of democracy, because it doesn't mean that when you have got democracy there will be no such mishap and shocking things. I think the test is how does the country handles that. To me, that is the difference."

Zuma also said that Marikana was a "wake-up" call on the conditions of workers, and that the mining industry needed to transform in order to prevent similar strikes and violence in the future.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  mining unrest  |  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


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Prince George the green prince?
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The full moon energy can be quite intense today as your emotions fight against reason. It is important to ground your ideas and...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.