Marikana miners go to court to force Zuma to release report

Johannesburg - The workers injured and arrested in the Marikana shooting, their families, and labour union Amcu, are to approach the courts to force President Jacob Zuma to release the Marikana report.

Andries Mkome, the lawyer representing all parties, said they would approach the courts on Monday "on an urgent basis of which we can be heard to ask for the president to release the report".

He said they had written to Zuma asking for him to release the report and if that did not happen, they would have no option but to approach the courts.

They had set a deadline for 14:00 on Sunday for Zuma to say when he would release the report. That deadline has now passed.

"The time for dialogue has passed. It was 14:00 yesterday and we now have no other option but to approach the court," Mkome said.

"We should be having the papers signed and should be getting a court date today."

The application is expected to be made in the High Court in Johannesburg.

'Protected'

"One thing our clients found to be outstanding was the news that [North West police commissioner] Lieutenant-General [Zukiswa] Mbombo is going to be retiring at the end of the month," Mkome said.

"We also read in newspapers that General [Riah] Phiyega has been made an offer to go occupy a separate office. Our clients feel that certain individuals fingered in the report are being protected by the presidency. It is by no coincidence that is happening."

Last week, it was announced that Mbombo, who was at the helm during the shooting of miners at Marikana, will be leaving the SA Police Service at the end of the month.

Thirty-four people were killed near Lonmin's platinum mine near Marikana, North West, when police tried to disperse striking miners on August 16, 2012. More than 78 people were injured.

Ten people, including two police officers and two Lonmin security guards, were killed in the previous week.

‘Sword of command’

According to a statement from Phiyega on Wednesday, she would have received the "sword of command" from Mbombo on Friday.

The provincial police chief testified at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry.

During her testimony, Mbombo conceded that police intervention at the mine in 2012 was a failure.

At the time she said there were blunders in the police communication systems used on the day of the shooting.

In November last year after sitting for 300 days, the commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, concluded its work.

The commission's report was handed to Zuma at the end of March.

Last week, the presidency said Zuma was still processing the commission’s report and will release it publicly "in due course".

Zuma said the commission had made some serious recommendations which required careful consideration.

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