Zuma has wind knocked out of his sails

2016-12-16 20:32
Tent blowing in the wind. (Tumi Sole, Twitter)

Tent blowing in the wind. (Tumi Sole, Twitter)

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Zeerust - President Jacob Zuma wanted to talk about the importance of racial harmony, but then the wind ripped up the marquee in which he was speaking at a Reconciliation Day event.

Before he could conclude his speech on Friday, strong winds raised the tent in which he was addressing the crowd in Gopane, near Zeerust, North West. Zuma was escorted away unhurt and the event was cut short.

North West police said two police officials, a municipality mayor, and a chief were among nine people injured.

According to a copy of his speech, Zuma paid tribute to the 44 people, most of them miners employed by Lonmin, killed in Marikana in August 2012.

“We don’t want to see such an incident happening in our country again. Not in our lifetime, and not in the lifetime of any South African,” he said.

Much of Zuma’s speech focused on bringing healing to the families of the miners police shot dead during their strike for better wages four years ago.

He said Reconciliation Day was about coming to terms with the tragedy.

“We cannot bring those who died back. However, we can and must do our best to ensure that the lives of their children improve.”

Government was taking action against those police officers who allegedly committed crimes in their handling of the strike in Marikana.

He said that on Thursday he received the report of the Claassen board of inquiry, which looked into suspended national police commissioner Riah Phiyega’s fitness to hold office, due to her role in the Marikana violence.

 “I will study the report and make an announcement in due course.”

Zuma said the day was about white and black people coming together.

“While black people are implored to come to bury the pain of the past and move on, white compatriots should also be ready to accept and support the imperative of transformation and redress.”

Zuma said both races should make more effort to reconcile.

There had been several outbursts of racism on social media in the past year.

“We should thus not regard reconciliation as an easy matter,” he said.

Read the full speech here


Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  north west  |  marikana

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