Zuma must practice ubuntu and release Marikana report now - IFP

2015-06-09 17:01
President Jacob Zuma

President Jacob Zuma (Jaco Marais)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has lost the spirit of ubuntu because of his delays in releasing the Marikana report, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said on Tuesday.

"President Zuma needs to invoke the spirit of ubuntu. He needs to embrace the lifelong practices of ubuntu that were observed long ago by our own fathers and forefathers," national chairperson, Blessed Gwala, said in a statement.

"By delaying the release of the Marikana report the president is labelling himself as a person who doesn’t care about the pains felt by those who lost their loved ones in the Marikana massacre."

Gwala said a month would have been enough time for Zuma to study the report. However, asking for three months to do so was irrational and incomprehensible.

On Monday, judgment was reserved on an application to have President Jacob Zuma immediately release the Farlam Commission's report on the Marikana killings.

"Well, I shall take time to consider my judgment, and for that purpose, judgment will be reserved," Judge Neil Tuchten said in the High Court in Pretoria.

The court heard submissions by advocate Dali Mpofu on behalf of applicants Mzoxolo Magidwana, who was shot, and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), who wanted the report released now and did not want to wait until June 30 - the cut-off date given by Zuma.

Zuma has to 'answer questions about it'

Zuma's counsel, advocate Hilton Epstein, submitted the president needed until June 30 to "get to grips" with the report because it was serious, and he would have to answer questions about it.

But Mpofu said that if the retired Judge Ian Farlam, who chaired the commission of inquiry into the shootings, could keep to his November 2014 undertaking to give the president the report on March 31 this year, there was no explanation as to why the president was not releasing the report.

"So for four months it is known that this calamity is going to happen... and yet you are told that well basically look, I'm busy. With the greatest respect, it cannot be tolerable," said Mpofu.

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, for the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (Seri), said it was against the victims and their families' dignity to not release it soon and successfully got Epstein to agree to June 30 as the latest the report could be released.

But Mpofu was not happy, and still wanted it released immediately, or at least within 48 hours of whatever order Tuchten makes.

Zuma should not 'play with lives'

Gwala said Zuma was quick to set up the commission of inquiry, and therefore there should be no reason for him to delay the release of the report.

"His delaying tactics will cause everyone to be convinced that he is busy doctoring or amending some important aspects of the report in order to protect those who might be responsible for the tragedy," Gwala said.

"One wonders what would have happened if it was his family members or relatives or his key supporters who died at Marikana. Would he behave in the same manner and delay releasing the report?"

The IFP requested that if Zuma believed in the spirit of ubuntu, and cared about the victims and their loved ones, he must revisit his decision to release the report at the end of June. Instead, the president should release it urgently without any further delay.

"We are aware that if it was time for national election, he would have released the report, but because he has no pressure to be elected as the president, he has no rush. As the president of our country Zuma should not play with peoples’ lives," Gwala said.

"The IFP encourages the affected families to remain strong and reconsider their political affiliations because the ANC, including its president, has failed them during their darkest hour."

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  marikana inquiry

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