Zuma defends Marikana cops

2012-12-14 14:17

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.

  • vuyisan - 2012-12-14 14:27

    thank you mr Zuma< for once I agree with you

      rbphiri - 2012-12-14 15:09

      Zuma is only speaking out publicly about Marikana because his term as is guaranteed.

      Willie - 2012-12-14 15:11

      It is official we are governed by stupid opinions - 2012-12-14 15:13

      why do you thank JZ...for doing his job????????? Wake the up...he is supposed to do and say something, most of the time, he says nothing(because he is clueless and I mean this with respect...really)

      sipho.zipi - 2012-12-14 15:23

      he should keep his mouth shut until the commision finishes it's work. what kind of a president is this.

      sani.ghana.3 - 2012-12-14 16:04

      Those strikers were killing the inocent people and we must support our police who protect us from those crazy men

      henk63 - 2012-12-15 09:32

      @Sipho - The commission is a waste of time and money. Here is the findings: 1) The workers were worked up to a frenzy by the two competing unions. 2) The workers initially wanted to fight each other, but the unions cleverly directed their anger to the employer. 3)The wage demand only surfaced after some people were murdered already. This mens the workers were now criminals. 4) The witchdoctor fuelled the fire with his mumbo jumbo, making the workers believe they could not be killed. 5) The workers stormed the police with the intention of killing them. They did not try to run away. 6) Many shots were fired into the ground as a warning, but this only made the crazed criminals think it was the muti's work. It just made them braver (read stupider), and eventually the police had no other choice than to fire into the attackers. So Zuma is right on this one. If I was a policeman I would not have wasted shots into the ground, I would have tried to kill as many as I can.

  • khethu.ndlovu.3 - 2012-12-14 14:27

    Oh! I see mr shower head, in both apartheid you can shoot people, but the 'good' thing about democracy is that there will be an enquiry after wards? How great! I wish some one visit nkandla kraal with umshini wakhe, and clears the lot there, we will then have an enquiry afterwards. That is how it is done mos on a democratic country.

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-14 15:10

      I agree with Zuma. The strikers had no right to have weapons in public while on strike and they allready murdered 2 cops and guards. The police acted as any other police force would have acted under the circumstances.

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-14 15:12

      @khethu.ndlovu.3 - Stop this showerhead rubbish. Show some respect!

  • bonge.mpofu - 2012-12-14 14:27

    now he is confident of the mangaung vote so can express his views

  • Jeremy - 2012-12-14 14:29

    Zuma should try shutting his mouth until the commission of inquiry has completed its work. It could very well come to completely different conclusions, in which case Zuma will look more of a fool than usual - and no doubt Zuma supporters will accuse the commission of bias!

      rodney.bevan.58 - 2012-12-14 19:43

      There is that, but from my point of view, miracles never cease, I never thought I would be able to agree with anything Showerhead did or said. Go figure.

  • Willie - 2012-12-14 14:29

    What's the point of this commision that you appointed MR President/Dr/Pastor Zuma?

  • buti.lembe - 2012-12-14 14:31

    Someone brainwashed you to says that . What is to kill in your opinion Mr Z?

  • Melusi - 2012-12-14 14:32

    Right to the point JZ. Why blame the police for something they never started.

      John - 2012-12-14 18:23

      The SAPS did start it! Get ALL the FACTS!

      henk63 - 2012-12-15 09:37

      John, do you know something we don't? Are you saying the police decided one day to go to Marikana and kill some miners? That nothing happened there beforehand? Please take the time to explain.

  • mart.botha - 2012-12-14 14:32

    I have no doubt that the conditions in and under which many miners live and work are sub-standard, and I agree fully that this must be addressed. But, where do you start? Unless something innovative such as tax breaks for housing and infrastructure developement etc are introduced, to ask any entity to reduce profitability and to possibly simply break even would sound a death knell for the industry, for employment as well as the survival of allied industries and towns. Innovation is key to sorting this challenge out, not nationalisation. Innovation too is key to avoiding the militancy of the workers.

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-14 15:16

      The bosses of the mining companies must firstly take a cut in salary. There is no reason why they should be paid million (per month!) while others are left hungry. Ramaphosa should not spend R80million on a buck while people are starving.

      henk63 - 2012-12-15 09:45

      Yes Gert. CEO's in this country are paid way too much, not just in the mining sector. Eskom's CEO takes R4m+ per month and no question is asked. In case you question this, remember when Moroga was asked on Carte Blanche if he doesn't think his R1m per month is excessive and he blankly told the interviewer it was in par with international CEO salaries? Well after that, the board approved MANY increases to that position, and of course their own. When Barbara Hogan was asked what they paid the Eskom CEO, her answer was R4.4m. She never said per year, we just accepted it to be so. No sir, it is actually PER MONTH!

  • madise.paul - 2012-12-14 14:42

    be silent inquiery in progress!!

      Thilivhali Fitzgerald - 2012-12-14 15:04

      thats so correct Madise thats when you realise how stupid our president is

  • wongazee - 2012-12-14 14:44

    If I were Zuma I was going to say ''let's wait for the commission that I as the president put up so that we can know and scrutinize what really happened that day'' instead of defending the police. President that's being bias, clearly you already made up your mind, why put up a commission then, wasting our time???

      osmaseko - 2012-12-14 14:53

      I couldn't have said it better

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-12-14 14:44

    I think its best you say nothing at all Mr Zuma!!!

  • gladness - 2012-12-14 14:45

    The police have every right to defend themselves. Two of their fellows had been butchered by the mob.

      John - 2012-12-14 18:20

      What ? SAPS can defend themselves for an incident that occurred 2 weeks earlier? That is called revenge and is MURDER! Get ALL the FACTS!

      markjack.deppe - 2012-12-20 15:05

      They might have that right on the same day yes but the massacre happened days thereafter. How did they then defend themselves??. Would you agree that the President has already decided that no Minister should take the fall. Same as the Textbook saga. Are these statements not protecting and condoning wrongdoing??

  • 75sibusisomhlongo - 2012-12-14 14:47

    u r right mr president, how can the police be blame for self defense. those people were attacking the police in numbers and had they not fired those shots they would have been dead then.

      John - 2012-12-14 18:12

      Get ALL the FACTS before passing an OPINION!!!

  • kholekile.dyala - 2012-12-14 14:52

    If anc still wants to lead this country ,they should recall Zuma his an embarassment to this beautiful nation.

      75sibusisomhlongo - 2012-12-14 14:58

      the ANC is leading the country and will be leading it until Jesus comes back

  • hlgiorgino - 2012-12-14 14:53

    I agree with the president, it wasn't the police who started the whole thing it was the workers. If you go to a gathering carrying weapons then I believe that your intentions are quite clear. The police are there to maintain law and order and if your life is threatened by violence you have every right to defend yourself.

      John - 2012-12-14 18:04

      What law was broken by the individual miners on the hill that tear gas was fired into the crowd by the SAPS causing a panic! This caused the miners to run through the fenced gap created by the SAPS at which point the AAPS murdered the miners. If I was one of the miners with murder in my heart there would have been at least 20 dead policemen. Not one was injured!

      Nkosinathi.Sibbs - 2012-12-14 21:50

      100% my brother. Miners killed two policemen, two security personels and ten miner before they were deadly disarmed

  • mshiniboys - 2012-12-14 14:57

    Mr Zuma I think you are missing the point finally.There are legal implications involved in this and as far as we both know, you are speaking from the ignorance point of view and you do not really care who feeds those peoples' families as we speak.Now learn one thing, do not let power go to your head.You might have financially arrived ,but not everything is about you in this country. We all have a right to life.Which is why you always speak against death penalty.That thing police did is a pay life with life situation and please let us know if the constitution of your world has changed now that you feel so powerful.That statement is irresponsible,uneducated and disappointing.

  • nic.nomicos.3 - 2012-12-14 14:59

    As mutch as I don't like Turtlehead Twincab Showerhead Zoomie I must agree with him on this one...

  • mvundlela.levy - 2012-12-14 14:59

    prbm should have resolved if ANC high profile people were not involved,eg RAMAPHOSA,ZUMA cnt be neutral he must defend his fellow cmrade,even NUM itself was awere of the whole mining condition but because they are focusing on their self benefit from the mine,it was very difficult to resolve the prbm,instead they point finger at AMCU,ZUMA is a ploter,never trust him.

  • thozi - 2012-12-14 15:00

    The President is correct... Nobody ever suspected that the automatic rifles would go off while being pointed at the mining strikers. These things happen you know, the cops were not even aware that the heavy Artillery they had, was loaded with deadly live bullets.

      Bob - 2012-12-14 15:51

      Lol... Cops using artillery... what are they the military? A novel idea though, since they would have achieved a much higher body count if they actually did use artillery weapons on the savages.

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-12-14 16:04

      It shows how dangerous it is to comment on something you don't know. Police never carry those kind of weapons because they are used in a war zone and by soldiers only.

      thozi - 2012-12-14 16:25

      Those who are blessed with the ability to understand, will understand the meaning of my comment. To siphom.mnguni... I rest my case.

      John - 2012-12-14 17:42

      You are so right in your comment! Your detractors are obviously SAPS who can only fault your choice of words. Artillery are cannon. The SAPS were sent in commit murder.

  • John - 2012-12-14 15:01

    What is there to defend? Their actions were criminal to which ZUMA is an accessory seeing they are ZUMA's employees and the employer is responsible for all actions of his employees!!

  • sakkiem - 2012-12-14 15:05

    dis stupid candy azz president jst defends everything that is wrong

      Bob - 2012-12-14 15:59

      What is wrong?

  • kholekile.dyala - 2012-12-14 15:10

    Is he the judge ?this clearly shows he will manipulate the outcome

  • Prince Kgwale - 2012-12-14 15:17

    If he really mean that let him order those police to do the same thing at Mangaung and see if he'll still say the same this stu@it clown. Sorry,sir! You forgot to close your zip.

  • sipho.zipi - 2012-12-14 15:22

    is the president prejudging the inquiry or what.

  • lawrence.sathekge - 2012-12-14 15:23

    You Double-Headed Bone-Heads, was there no better means to diffuse the situation?, get more Police or the Army to disarm those ppl if they were indeed heavily armed...I've never lived in such a time a person could be this stupid n be let free..Perhaps we should ask America to come hang this clown like they did to Saddam n Kadafi...

  • Tello Moleko - 2012-12-14 15:27

    @kgwale,its said at Mangaung workers are going to demand wages or its national conference?dont compare things that cant compare to

  • lawrence.sathekge - 2012-12-14 15:28

    If it was your kids dying like that how would u feel?, sit your ass on a couche n tell media, there was nothing else that could've been done..You can't blame the Minister. I don't think so, you'd have exhaused all measures possible to make sure lifes were spared...Perhaps if they can see your child with a knife threatening to kill another child they must shoot your child u Punk-Ass!!

      ntloko.yamazizi - 2012-12-14 15:45

      U r a disgrace to da blc population is dat da way to talk to da Elderly ppl hv manners bhuti

      andrew.crawford.50 - 2012-12-14 16:01

      @ntloko... Please check this definition... Police State n (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a state or country in which a repressive government maintains control through the police We might have expected this from the old Nationalist government!!!

      lawrence.sathekge - 2012-12-16 09:50

      @Ntloko, repsect is earned, what has the so called Casanova a.k.a J.Z done lately to deserve respect?, Your age don't exempt u from earning respect, Capisce!!!, Age ain't no indicator of maturity but repsonsibility, And yes I'm BLACK South African CLEVER BLACK as per Casanova's words, stop being brained washed..

  • tdose - 2012-12-14 15:30

    So the commission is a waste of time.

  • Ndwangu - 2012-12-14 15:41

    When the president is quiet people complain and when he speaks same people complain. I'm also not blaming the police because they were protecting themselves and community from those thugs, if police didnt try to disarm those thugs we would be talking hundreds of people killed that time.

      Bob - 2012-12-14 15:57

      The reason why most people will complain is the unfortunate timing of his comments. Not only did it take a few months for him to speak up about the matter, but there's a commission in progress that he himself set up. It also reeks of politics since now that he's certain to win another term in office he's only now willing to make a statement.

  • tshidiso.mokhosi - 2012-12-14 15:42

    He banna zuma.Why set up the commission to investigate with millions of rands and then undermine the process.Shut up and let the commission make its findings.

      markjack.deppe - 2012-12-20 15:23

      Wonder if those findings will be worthwhile. In my opinion the President is absolutely wrong to have made this statement when the Commission he instructed are busy trying to do their work. Wonder if retired Judge Farlam knows Mr Zuma's sentiments because if I was him I would have recused myself. The hearings now are nothing but a waste of time and money.

  • Prince Kgwale - 2012-12-14 15:44

    @Moleko who asked for your opinion chief? Don't mention my name on ur bloody stupid comment. Bloody ignorant moron!

  • TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-12-14 15:45

    From what I've seen and listened to so far re the Marikana Commission, vindicates what the President is saying.

      andrew.crawford.50 - 2012-12-14 16:05

      Please check this definition... Police State n (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a state or country in which a repressive government maintains control through the police We might have expected this from the old Nationalist government!!!

  • ntloko.yamazizi - 2012-12-14 15:51

    Now you can predict what will be da outcome of da commition da President has said and sm ppl will make sure dat will happen.

  • luyolo.makalima - 2012-12-14 15:53

    i agree ,some common sense from the S.A government for once

  • ian.robertreid - 2012-12-14 16:03

    JZ agree with u 4supporting the cops? they r there 2 iron out trouble brewing? if it takes live rounds then so b it? kill or be killed?

      zet.vakala - 2012-12-14 16:50

      Ja! If you attack a cop with a panga, you will be shot. Finish and klaar!!

      mshiniboys - 2012-12-14 16:52

      Bunch of uneducated hyenas you are

      Gareth Deeble - 2012-12-14 17:23

      @mshiniboys if i ran at you wuth a panga would you just stand still and wait to see if ill stop

  • nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-12-14 16:11

    Eish Zuma, its a hotseat to be prez ne!

  • lenox.ntlantsana - 2012-12-14 16:18

    Its done and said, that's our democracy that undermines the rights of workers and not just the mine workers but all of us. In view of Marikana and later WC farm workers, tactics to delay the healing process of the families lost the government is going to play with words like Commission or suspension of the strike the truth is task shifting the truth is The shoe is on the other footGovernment self!

  • patrick.mahungela - 2012-12-14 16:30

    Eshu have no remose ur heartless how can u said those wordsits true u don't care about the lost life vana va vanhu lava nga dlayiwa tani hi vusokoti the blood of marikana u will pay it

  • edward.tillett.98 - 2012-12-14 16:55

    Zooma, Marikana is your "wake-up call" - to get out!!!!

  • ntloko.yamazizi - 2012-12-14 17:03

    I wonder does he lesson to his advisers before he say something to da nation

  • mbambo.shi - 2012-12-14 18:37

    He must also defend the JHB motorists, who'll soon be harrassed by Metro Cops for exercising their right to drive on Free Ways without E-Tags, should we slot bullets on them. Zuma, jy is a CARALHO.

  • thabang.ncongwane.9 - 2012-12-14 18:57

    That is very idiotic of the president to make those comments ,he always puts his foot in his mouth .how embarrassing.

  • Nkosinathi.Sibbs - 2012-12-14 21:50

    Democracy does not only promotes those who strike to destroy,loot, vadalize property and kill others people it also protect those who are not on strike. Miners killed not only their own colegues but two police officers and two security personels. How do one justfy that? Its unacceptable for police to use deadly force but with Marikana miners messed their gunein cause.

  • wally.williams.148 - 2012-12-15 07:20

    And so he must! He is protecting the ones who caused the chaos in the first place, the ones who are really ripping these workers off - no, not the mines. Go ask Cyril and Tokyo about that. Speak to the Prez's son and cousin and nephew and who the hell else about it. The police were executing orders. These back-fired and everyone blamed the "whites" - without defining which "whites" and ignoring the true facts.

  • jackbongani.phala - 2012-12-15 10:15


  • wul4I - 2012-12-15 16:31

    If the ANC do no quick fast as possible remove Zuma from that seat, The disaster hi cause may need more or close to half century to repair the Zuma riche more riche & so call poor must poor double policy. Who means, that old system in wish in reality never die are gone to be legalize. The Marikana issues are a capital Crime, and the Zuma most be tried for.

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