Zuma: Truth must be uncovered

2012-08-17 22:16

Johannesburg - A commission of inquiry will uncover the truth behind the shootings at the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg where 34 armed protesters were shot this week, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.

"We remain fully committed to ensuring that this country remains a peaceful, stable, productive and thriving nation that is focused on improving the quality of life for all," he told reporters at the Lonmin conference centre.

"It is against this background, that we have to uncover the truth about what happened here. In this regard I have decided to institute a commision of inquiry. It will enable us to get to the real cause of the incident and to derive the necessary lessons today."

He said the incident was "regrettable".

"We have all been saddened and dismayed by the events of the past few days and hours around the Marikana mine. These events are not what we want to see or what to become accustomed to in a democracy that is bound by rule of law," he said.

"We do not expect such incidents, particularly in a country where there is a high level of organisation within the labour movement."

He offered condolences to the families of the victims.

"Today our thoughts are primarily with the families of those who have lost their lives. As government, as fellow citizens we offer our sincere condolences to all families who have lost their loved ones," he said.

"The events of the past few days have unfortunately been visited upon a nation that is hard at work addressing... poverty, unemployment and inequality."

Zuma said South Africans should not resort to blaming each other for the incident.

"Today is not the day for blame or finger pointing... today challenges us to restore calm and share the pain of the affected families and communities," he said.

"Today is about reminding ourselves of our responsibilities as citizens... We can protest against any institution peacefully. It is one of the cornerstones of our hard won democracy."

A total of 34 people were killed in a shootout that erupted near the mine on Thursday when police tried to disperse striking miners.

More than 78 people were injured. Another 10 people had by then been killed in the violent protests at the mine over the past week.

The protests were believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) over recognition agreements at the mine. Workers also wanted higher wages.

  • imam.madi.129 - 2012-08-17 22:43

    Well for anyone who did not accept the painful reality that ours is an obscene violent society have senseless killings and dead bodies as evidence. I am amazed only 34 died in that chaos, worse that no police to police fire as some were hiding behind their colleagues while shooting. I like to blame so please let me blame someone mr president, I blame the miners and their union leaders. Management and the police have done what me and my wife would do if our kids demand macon for breakfast and threaten us with short guns and knives. She would shoot hiding behind me while I let loose of everything i have, even throw a roti at them. So cut the police a slack and let them hunt for more armed gangs. - 2012-08-17 23:30

      Give that man a Biryani!

      motlagoilwe.dintoe - 2012-08-18 03:47

      @Madi, you have brains. Many commentators here do not even know that 2 police men and 2 security guards were butchered by these armed asses. New24 seem also to have deliberately left it out in their reporting. They are very biased in this regard as their reporting seem to point out that police used unnecessary force to calm the situation.

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-18 07:41

      I fully agree Imam. @ motlagoilwe, the coverage on all the news channels was pathetic, even on e-news, which on the 1st night was unprofessional, uniformed & sensationalist, the most accurate news coverage that I found on all the channels was surprisingly CNN.

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2012-08-17 22:48

    South African Unions really needs to stop fighting amongst themselves. Stop strikers brandishing weapons and stop talking about being prepared to die cause that's what will happen to you. Was this a strike for better pay or was it a war? Strikes do not require one to bring weapons so as to get your point across. I don't know the full rights & wrongs here, but what I do know is that if the police were not armed that crowd would have chopped them to pieces.If you live by the machete,panga and knobkerrie you'll die by the police guns.As simple as that.

      anthonycharles.williams - 2012-08-18 07:30

      Unions were incontrol there, need we say more...

  • raymond.sebeela - 2012-08-17 23:09

    This was just bad, I think the police should be trained to deal with this kind of situations. 10 seconds and 34 people dead! \r\nLife is not cheap Mr President

      attie.stone.3 - 2012-08-18 07:43

      You're so wrong raymond Don't you listen to the news as to how cheap life in this country. The trouble is those guys being armed

  • mosesbongane.sibanda - 2012-08-17 23:10

    JZ see U in Mangaung very soon.

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-18 07:50

      thats what this was all about wasnt it, not about salaries

      nhlakaniphog1 - 2012-08-18 08:44

      ANC people sometimes are crazy, how does killing people in the mine relate to Mangaung. Bongane you are out of order chief, this has nothing to do with Mangaung.

      mario.polanski.3 - 2012-08-18 20:20

      I am completely personally enraged at the brutal, inhumane manner that innocent, peace loving miners on an illegal wildcat strike, were callously shot down. The country needs a monument erected to this tragic event, so it can be recorded in history, and reverently remembered by all.

  • Neal Sing - 2012-08-17 23:16

    nothing will happen .it will be covered up is cheap in South Africa

  • delwin.bridge - 2012-08-17 23:28

    Why suddenly hate the police , the truth of the matter is the unions along side with bosses of the particular mine should be blamed for letting such a strike come into effect, police had to defend themselves against rioters going berserk, why did the striking employees behave like a bunch of mad men things like this wouldn't happen if people could control themselves lets learn and stand together south africa

      kalman.dittrich - 2012-08-18 07:59

      People are falling for plenty Bull S#it here, When the first people was killed where was any leaders then, 8 lives meant nothing,If police were shot at, It is their responsibility and duty to find the shooter, Not mow people down resulting in a massacre!!! Come on, How many woman lost their husbands, how many children are now fatherless?? All because there was a shooter among them, If a shot was fired, Find the shooter, dont kill a crowd, Rubber bullets would have dispersed them well enough, How many of the 45 had guns? How many were shot while running away, I dont agree with ANY justification of killing people. Where were any of the big mouth leaders when the trouble started? Who mandated Zuma to go to Zimbabwe, Is he fit to negotiate anything, where was Deputy President? 8 Lives meant bugger all to them and clearly another 35 meant nothing too, Im pissed off thinking about this...

  • david.diego.14 - 2012-08-17 23:45

    lets face the truth here in mzansi we dont have a well trained police officer!!!

      motlagoilwe.dintoe - 2012-08-18 03:28

      What could a trained police officer have done in that dangerous situation - turned to kumfu and kicked asses of those heavily armed idiots??? David you surely are the one who is not well trained to analyse simple problems. I guess you went to the same school that Zuma went to.

      myfriendshane - 2012-08-18 06:15

      Those are task force. They are very well trained.

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-18 07:53

      I dont think that training would have made much difference, they has to deal with irrational, intolerant, militant thugs, who have been brainwashed to provoke aggression by someone that wants to use strikes to push a political agenda, starting with AMCU.

  • jurgen.eksteen - 2012-08-17 23:49

    The TRUTH is that 3000 armed people stormed a well outnumbered police force ... what else did they expect would happen!

  • James Cussen - 2012-08-17 23:53

    700+ charges of fraud, rape and racketeering should the be properly investigated!!! How could all 700+ charges be dropped from one leaked tape???

  • piet.pompies.9028 - 2012-08-18 01:07

    What does Jacob Zuma care about "remaining fully committed to ensuring that this country remains a peaceful, stable, productive and thriving nation that is focused on improving the quality of life for all" all he cares about is if the Nation gets runned the way he wants it, and at the moment it's going DOWN!!!!

  • zwelethu.sabasaba - 2012-08-18 01:22

    Whats wrong with these protestors? Do they really need weapons to protest? Who and what do they plan to use the weapons on? I say that most adults in S. A have only grown chronologically not mentally.

      phendulani.m.sibiya - 2012-08-18 02:49

      f.u man. People have lost their loved ones. Who r u trying to please, would u say the samethng if one of your family was there and shot dead. Come on, think before you write kaak.

      jakes.cakedregs - 2012-08-18 03:15

      Very valid question, Zwelethu. Will we ever know the answer? Will the *truth* ever be *uncovered*?

      motlagoilwe.dintoe - 2012-08-18 03:17

      @Sibiya what is your problem??? Are you aware in the first instance that 2 police men and 2 security guards where killed by these armed, cruel, brainless protesters. If the same are charging towards the police armed as they are what do you expect police to do??? Guess you want the police to have ran away and leave the situation go out of hand. I tell you these senseless people asked for it themselves.

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-18 07:59

      sibiya, why is it that every time a black person says something that other black people dont like, you say "who are you trying to please" they are not trying to please whites (which is what you are insinuating), they are expressing a difference in opinion, but you seem to be just as intolerant of your fellow black people commenting here, as the miners you support, which is probably why you defend their violent aggression.

  • ivan.devries.7 - 2012-08-18 01:47

    We Salute the SAP dont stop,please go to cape town and do the same please

      duma.nkabinde - 2012-08-18 21:29

      And kill more black people???

  • ivan.devries.7 - 2012-08-18 02:07

    Please Mr Zuma transfer theose SAP to Cape town we need them there please thay no there job Salute SAP

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-08-18 02:58

    On Tuesday dear Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said that she was prepared to intervene {this 4 days AFTER this 1st 10 people where already killed) to try and resolve the dispute at Lonmin's Marikana platinum... Well What intervention DID take place?? Don't believe this happened.. Wtf!

      jakes.cakedregs - 2012-08-18 03:07

      Sally, you know as well as we do that Susan was caught off guard, was completely out of her depth and scared witless. This is not just another political game anymore. This is serious, out of control, tight rope stuff.

  • dumisani.mamane - 2012-08-18 05:56

    Wat i cn only say is nomoe killing 34 ppl hu died n 78 injured anada 10 dat died b4 its toomuch ..we want injary free...dis has disturped many ppl n to dose hu hv nin afected God is da He wont let u down

      attie.stone.3 - 2012-08-18 07:30

      Dumisani; The question then is ....did your God let all the people who died, down? It becomes quite a paradox the more you question your statement.

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-08-18 06:39

    Bring me my machine gun -- uhhhh...mshini wam....uhhh mshini wam !

  • Melusi - 2012-08-18 06:40

    I dont think we need weapons when protesting. What for? The cops are right.

      Ilse van Tonder - 2012-08-18 07:04

      it surely is a sad day in SA but let's look at some of the facts: when the crowd stormed the police, chanting and brandishing their weapons - what was their intention? To peacefully pass the police or have a mere chat? I cannot condone any SA-can shooting another but seriously - what other choice did the police have? They must also be severely traumatized by this event - as do the protesters and their families. But why do the reporters keep on throwing in to the mix 'the workers wanted higher wages' - what on earth has that got to do with rival unions fighting for recognition and then resorting to violence? No meaningful negotiation can take place if we don't have parties sitting around the table. As I said - truly a sad day in SA...

  • Michael - 2012-08-18 07:09

    Malema addressed those strikers before this horific occurances, i wonder what is it that he told them?

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-18 08:08

      this is the snake in the grass, i'm telling you.

  • james.mazizonke - 2012-08-18 07:10

    Mr President i think that your police should be trained to deal with this kind of situation not to kill people.

      Michael - 2012-08-18 07:16

      Police used all other posible means to despers the mob, but what other training method can you use if people are shooting at you with live ammunition, or they must be trained how to dark bullets?

      henri.vonsteen - 2012-08-18 10:02

      Idiot! Did you watch the movie on youtube?They stormed the police and got shot! What would you have done?

  • ziphok1 - 2012-08-18 07:12

    Zuma is right, but I think the unions have to answer for this. The people who have already kill ten people come running at me, I would have shoot too. Police are just humans like one of us, they don't have super powers.

      dnxumalo2 - 2012-08-18 07:38

      I knew it when the news broke that two police officers were among the dead that the next step would be police being sent to make an example of the protesters.I told someone that soon the police will kill the people and they thought I was being naive.this was planned.

      ziphok1 - 2012-08-18 07:52

      Zwide this people should have known better. And we not talking about kids here we talking about grown up mans. They have already killed 8 of their own.

  • Moses Chavhunga - 2012-08-18 07:19

    We know that these protesters were carrying weapons and they killed the police officers and the security guards but that dose not mean if u are a low enforcer u can now take someone's life.Why not use rubber bullets to shoot them than live ammunitions,something is wrong here.

      Nicki.Labuschagne - 2012-08-18 08:04

      So you are saying that if you were a policeman, who had already seen two colleagues hacked to death by the same lawless mob, and they charged down at you, armed to the teeth and with murder in their hearts, and your rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades had not stopped them, you would try to negotiate? No, I am pretty sure you woild have fired at them because your own life was at risk. It was a kill or be killed situation. Tragic and unnecessary certainly, but no one can blame the police for protecting themselves.

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-18 08:09

      they did, but the protesters were there to fight, they were told to kill, by who, is the question ????????

      gladwinkabelo.nkambule - 2012-08-18 08:44

      Law police officers are human beings and if shot at may die. Were the workers using rubber bullets?

      bernard.nienaber - 2012-08-18 10:02

      What a unintelligent comment.

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-18 07:20

    Ah yes, the good old Commission of Enquiry. The President will have this not because he does not know the truth but because he wants to preserve the ANC'S alliance with NUM and becaue he is in two minds over nationalisation.

  • Thebigguyjim - 2012-08-18 07:24

    Dig deeper and you will find the two unions support different ANC factions. Finish and klaar. The wages are only an afterthought. NUM is solidly behind the Zuma camp. The new upstarts want to see the back of Zuma. Investigate this.

  • spikes.joubert - 2012-08-18 07:45

    ""Today is about reminding ourselves of our responsibilities as citizens... We can protest against any institution peacefully. It is one of the cornerstones of our hard won democracy."" LOL

  • tebo.w.ganyani - 2012-08-18 07:48

    refrain from pointing fingers. The death waz tragic, no 1 can ever justify it. To some1 like me... Bt havng said that the strike waz abused... Lesson we should take is... Never let two bulls to be @ 1 kraal. Num n amcu.... Thats politics.

  • Innocent - 2012-08-18 07:52

    Dear Mr president the truth about Lonmin massecre it about two rivalry Num and unaffiliated Amcu.\r\nWhat should have done to call all three part to union building to tackle matter to give SA a quickly respond.\r\nThe people has been die ,what trust you will retained to your honorable president.

  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-08-18 07:56

    It is also very sick that the police have invited each other on to this site to support the people who support the killing of our citizens.Those who support them please wait till they kill your own relative or till they are hired to carry out a hit by their corrupt friends.

  • lazarus.masilela - 2012-08-18 07:58

    The mochene wam,mochene wam song and the sound of gunfire is probably playing non-stop in Zuma's head.He should never sing that song again.

  • frans.vanderpoll - 2012-08-18 08:02

    We remain fully committed to ensuring that this country remains a peaceful, stable, productive and thriving nation that is focused on improving the quality of life for all - hahahahaha!! The only thing stable and thriving is the corruption.

      Nicki.Labuschagne - 2012-08-18 08:08

      This country is none of those things. Maybe you should have a few more investigations to figure out what has gone wrong, Mr Zuma. Or possibly you know exactly what is wrong but you don't care, as long as you and your large family are thriving?

  • alaina.nel.12 - 2012-08-18 08:07

    Zuma,you can't even spell truth.Since when was this country peaceful and stable.Lies,lies and lies.The only way this country can become stable and peaceful will be when you disappear from the face of the earth.You should be ashamed of what you are doing to this country and it's people.Shame on you.Get out and stay out...

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-08-18 08:09

    WTF u talking about Zuma? They were protesting, killed 10 people, police got involved and they attacked and some got killed. Watch the video, u don't need a damn commission....

  • wouterisabel.richards - 2012-08-18 08:16


  • kooskanmar - 2012-08-18 08:33

    Confusious said: Set up a "another" commission. Taxpayers said: Why pay thousands to explain what we already know. Power struggles among crumbling Unions. Incompetent and poorly trained Police staff. WTF ? Stand on your hind legs and think for yourself Zuma. SA could never have dreamt of a worse leader than you. Not to mention that puppet Malema also visiting the Lonmin site. What the hell is he doing there ? Perhaps looking it he can't drain some gravy from the sitaution. This country is a JOKE !!!

      Thebigguyjim - 2012-08-18 08:44

      ANCU Malema Support. Num Zuma Support. Wages dispute a red herring. Rest my case.

  • jimmy.sekgobela.39 - 2012-08-18 08:35

    Our police task team are incompetend to control the masses. Killing our brothers who voted for this government is not solution.

  • buwaz - 2012-08-18 08:37

    Bosso ke mang? Bosso ke Zuma,when two policeman were hacked n killed by protesting workers he never bothered to come back frm SADC n establish commission of inquiry n everyone was quiet abt it, those police officers were not breadwinners? So now police defended themselves after being in a situation that it was win loose situation they got blamed.cry my beloved country

  • pearl.boasi - 2012-08-18 08:42

    Zuma the Zipper must go, clearly he is unfit to head a state. Commission for what?! And waste my tax money. The Phiyega lady said she takes responsibility for the shootings, so blame her or fire her.

  • Buti Mokoena Wale SwaiSwai - 2012-08-18 08:45

    i am a member SAPS bt wht i saw was an animal slauter hw do u carry rifle instead of short gun nd i anli say TRT whr was Public order policing nd as 4 dose strikers who carry firearms whr was crime inteligency they may say wht they want bt m stil saying some1 is gng 2 jail 4 dis nxa

      buwaz - 2012-08-18 09:01

      I can't believe u r member of SAPS may u the ones dat stay in the office, I wonder why u was not deployed there?to me u dnt knw the real story u only saw it on TV, for your information those unit were there is not only TRT,all unit u knw frm SAPS,Water canon was the first action,shotgun second,those miners were mislead by their sangoma who told them the firearms wil release water when shot at,so next tym u comment get all de facts u r disgrace to SAPS, one fiream is not yet recovered frm those two cops I hope it get u so we can give u slow march

  • amogelang.molwana - 2012-08-18 08:47

    De problem lies with union leader wu feed lies 2 ordinary\r\n(Illeterate) workers wu I believe were unfortunate to get any formal school.hw cn u demand 300% increase in ds economic situation plus de price of wat de produce hd gone down. But if ur leaders r persuasive enough on teling u de employer cn afford. Workers wil fight 4 false hope. De nid 2 hv realistic union leaders wu dsnt use workers to fight their personal battle. Now the leaders themself are warm in their mansionss while adas r in mourning

      michael.mothapi - 2012-08-18 12:05

      Yep, I agree with you on this one. Unions r sumtyms to blame for such actions to happen.

  • michael.barns.1 - 2012-08-18 09:07

    Sorry I have to post here, the last article is closed for comments. Some of you were asking about the average pay scale of miners overseas. Australia = $110 000pa USA = $70 000pa RSA = $6000pa The one lady, I forget her name, was mentioning the cost of living overseas compared to here and said you cant compare, please remember that precious metals mined in USA, AUS, RSA etc. sell for the same price. Gold in SA sells for the same price it does in the USA. The only difference is overseas mine companies / mines, dont make some ridiculous profit of say 500% pa, RSA mines do because quite frankly we have slave labour doing the work. How do you think this country became so rich in the, "old days" not much has changed if you ask me. Secondly there were many comments that said that doesnt justify the killing of policemen and security guards, well of course it doesnt, but we were talking about salaries here. Bottom line the mine workers in this country are exploited, and this needs to change today.

      amogelang.molwana - 2012-08-18 09:12

      Thanx 4 dat. It opened our eyes. Most of us r clueless of that.

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-18 09:38

      If your info is correct, then we need more debate around what miners should get paid & who is getting what money from the minerals. I think this is something that we all should understand. The events of the last few weeks are without a doubt politically motivated & that the miners have been used by some groups who seek to exploit them, but it doesnt mean that there is no substance to the miners grievances

  • Joubs1957 - 2012-08-18 10:01

    Hey comrade Zooma - I agree about the truth being uncovered - but lets start with the arms deal?? Howz that?

      Wally Walters - 2012-08-18 14:08

      YES! the arms deal

  • Tshephangsithole - 2012-08-18 10:33

    It is honestly sad of what happend but I cant blame the police,how can you come to strike with a panga and spears? It totally means those guys where there to fight.\r\nAgain they started it by killing the two officers and a security guard. They got what they wanted. We black people sometimes do crazy things,striking and destroying property is foolish. This country will never progress....!

      Phora007 - 2012-08-18 13:22

      Tshephang,if i may ask,how much do you earn? Are you aware that the negotiations took about eight months? Although i don't condone vandalism or ill discipline,i feel that the unions don't represent workers anymore.So,workers end up being frustrated.This is the time when the ruling party will see to it that they review their policies.Perhaps for you to say that,it's because you are earning a lot of money.I am a mine employee at Petra Diamonds in Cullinan.I experience similar problems as that of Marikana.There are still inequalities.

  • charnelle.bester - 2012-08-18 10:41

    Showerhead will be the first to jet out to London if war breaks out in this country. He has been to busy with inciting racial hatred and defending his already volatile reputation. Zuma open your beady eyes and see whats really going on, I dont believe that the people are so in love with you that they will disregard their own needs for you. All your probing will surely lead to another corrupt cadre, as it always does. I wonder at times how you sleep at night. Its a tough job running a country ne. You dont just win it like the lottery. You must maintain it and the help the people in it. BASIC NEEDS mr President, BASIC NEEDS. Your people are now turning against eachother, so lets focus on things that matter - The people, all the people.

  • charmaine.hoffmann.1 - 2012-08-18 10:50

    Institute a commision of inquiry who will need to earn a salary + medical aid and benifits...will take at least 5 years to come to a conclusion and because this conclusion will not be satisfactory, he will institute another commission to inquire why the previous commission didnt do their job correctly and this might take another 3 years, but hey...who is counting!

  • duncan.gill1 - 2012-08-18 16:39

    Zuma your police are ill trained,ill disciplined,panic when forced to deal with real policing and basically inept!They looked uneasy and downright frightened on the video we saw on local TV news broadcasts..I happened to see an Al Jezeera broadcast reporting what happened and lo and behold saw footage that our local TV had not shown in which black protestors were moving amongst police vehicles apparently to evade encircling police vehicles and policemen on foot when they were shot at and started to panic thereby leading to the volley that finally caused so many Zuma what will you do ..let me the current minister of of the hottest musical chair games going at the make me sick you are so inept!

      corne.reynders.3 - 2012-08-18 19:12

      Its obivious from your comment that you have no idea what its like being in those police officers's posistion. You would be the first one running away....that's the problem with this support for the police the next time they steal your car please show them how to recover it and also conduct the investigation. Our Minister of Police can't be blamed for something that the protestors did the police reacted because it was clear they were under fire.

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-08-18 20:22

      Corne,you obviously did not see the Al Jazeera footage that we never saw on our TV channels..check it out boet and remember that our police force is not the force of old..anyone knows that, so think again before you spring to their defense..perhaps you are a policeman yourself if so you yourself should know the extent of decay of our present police force!

  • Leah - 2012-08-18 18:37

    We will never know the truth, will we mr Zuma? Your union buddies orchestrated this and allowed innocent people to die. You are too scared to loose your vote the day your unholy alliance finally tears apart. Innocent people died, but all you and the other so called leaders are interested in, is making sure you stay out of the line of fire. And because you benefit from this, you will never allow the truth to come out. The right people will not be punished. Their lives will continue, the cops will be blamed, the miners will be blamed, and the truly guilty will go scott free. You are a disgrace mr Zuma. Your party is a disgrace. Your leadership is inadequate. Do not mouth platitudes and hope the masses will be placated. You are hoping in vain

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-08-19 12:49

    i smell a whole lot of law suits with a lot of confidential clauses in them but if it was my loved one i will not settle for less than 10million. Mr Booth i think you should set up shop on the koppie there to be close to your new rich widows,ha la la i mali yum new car and a new house eisch very very nice

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