Marikana remains fragile: Phiyega

By Drum Digital
14 August 2013

The situation in Marikana remains fragile, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega said on Wednesday. "What is happening in Marikana does not only disrupt the community there, it disrupts economic growth," she said at the launch of the mine crime combating forum in Rustenburg. The forum, involving police, mining companies, trade unions, and government departments, is aimed at restoring peace and stability in the country's mining industry. "People are killed in broad daylight in Marikana. I'm sure there are witnessesbut to date no one has come forward with information." Phiyega said 13 cases involving murders in Marikana had been brought to court. Some had been postponed due to the sitting of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry and others were ready for trial. Forty-four people were killed during a wage-related strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana in August last year. Police shot dead 34 people, almost all striking mineworkers, on August 16, while trying to disperse and disarm them. Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week. The Farlam Commission is investigating the violence. Phiyega said murders in Marikana should not be linked torivalry between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and the National Union of Mineworkers (Num).

"Please let the police investigate and bring culprits to courts," she said. Mining companies and two trade unions signed and pledged to support the forum, to restore peace and stability in the mining sector. The Num said it supported the forum and hoped that those responsible for the killings would be arrested. "We hope the forum will pin down criminals killing people. Pinning down those who pull the trigger is not enough. Deal with the planner," Num chief negotiator at Lonmin Eric Gcilitshana said. Uasa representative Thabo Mpete said his union would strive for peace and stability in the workplace.

-by Sapa

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