Lonmin, police, unions to be probed

2012-08-23 21:24

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has announced a three-member judicial commission of inquiry to probe the mine violence in which 44 people died in Marikana, North West.

The commission's mandate, among other things, was to probe the conduct of the mining company Lonmin, Zuma told reporters in Pretoria on Thursday.

It would consider whether Lonmin responded appropriately to the threat of an outbreak of violence on its premises.

"It will probe whether Lonmin Plc exercised its best endeavours to resolve any disputes which may have arisen," said Zuma.

The commission would also examine the conduct of the SA Police Service, focusing on the facts and circumstances which gave rise to the use of force, and whether it was reasonable and justifiable.

Thirty-four striking workers were shot dead and 78 were wounded last Thursday when police tried to disperse a group of protesting miners who had gathered on a hill near the mine.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in violent protests at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana.

Zuma said the commission would also probe the conduct of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and its rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

Retired Supreme Court of Appeal judge Ian Farlam would chair the commission. Farlam had worked as a judge in the Orange Free State division, and the Cape provincial division. He would be joined by senior advocates Bantubonke Tokota and Pingla Hemraj.

Tokota has acted as a judge in the Eastern Cape Labour Court and the Transvaal provincial division.

Hemraj has also acted as a judge in the high courts of Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown.

Zuma said the commission would complete its work within four months, and had to submit its final report within a month of completing its work.

"This commission will have the necessary powers, including the power to enter and search premises, secure the attendance of witnesses and compel the production of documents," said Zuma.

  • edna.errenrich - 2012-08-23 21:29

    if they had been at work no one would be dead

      Jason - 2012-08-24 07:34

      Getting probed is no fun at all, I remember this one time when the aliens got me..............

  • johana.salivan - 2012-08-23 21:39

    Interesting that since fat piglet called his comrades pigs, number of killed "jumped" to 44. Why media now includes victims of armed thugs?

      phillip.harry.79 - 2012-08-23 21:49

      ..well spotted Johana

  • sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-08-23 21:45

    "Lonmin, police, unions to be probed" Hang on a minute - what about the people killed by the miners??? Do they not count? Are their deaths not as important as the miners' deaths?? The striking miners are not without blood on their hands!! Their conduct had a direct impact on the events that followed, and should form the centre of the whole investigation.

      delish7564 - 2012-08-23 22:08

      Absolutely Sharon. Amazing how that seems to be conveniently forgotten!

      john.barbarian.9 - 2012-08-24 05:22

      Yes Sharon.... Also the Friday Picture of Police shooting in news24 was showing a white policeman armed next to the death bodies of the miners...I dont know if you notice that one also.....All well orchestrated propaganda. Thanks to Reuters and Al Jazeera...without their camreas there we will be witnesing only the half of the story

  • nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-08-23 21:52

    What about Malema, his friends of the ANCYL and the ANCYL. They must look into the rol the played. And don't forget about the Traditional Healer Who payed him? What was the agenda? He was a very powerful force behind the conduct of the strikers.

      Ntambolicous - 2012-08-23 23:07

      That is where you wrong there social challenges leading to this event must be probed one. Y is it that on this site nobody wants face the real problems in this country. Mines have been using the migrant cheap labour system for decades so shall we investigate that too. Malema has been given all the ammunition he needs by government, mines and the all the racist living in this country oh don't forget the unions and the old flag in ventersdorp has realy helped much either buy hey if it makes you sleep better blame the usual suspect it's not like they are innocent.

  • nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-08-23 21:58

    Sorry I forgot what rol dit the ANC played?

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-23 22:10

    Let's hope that the commission will also attend to the previous inactivitity of the police in other violent strikes as a possible contributory factor in how the strikers in the current matter may have misjudged their actions. NOBODY should be allowed to carry dangerous weapons in protests. Even if thousands have to be disarmed. And if you can't find your so-called traditional weopon afterwards among the many taken away, bad luck! The nonsense about traditional weapons must be unmasked for what it is. You will not venture around for any purpose whatsoever with your traditional arms if it wasn't for the power it represented to your potential opponents. Let's stop the lies!

  • Ntambolicous - 2012-08-23 22:11

    Meantime we must wait while they compile their cover up just like those kids waiting for an investigation on the texbook saga. Educated people are very dunm or naïve when dealing with the poor.

      roelfensusanne.mare - 2012-08-23 22:20

      whose the educated people your talking about???

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-23 22:22

      @ Ntambooicous No, the judge they appointed will not allow cover-ups. He has no reason to and those of us who know a bit more about him and his academic works can assure you he will not overlook or be fooled by so-called cover-ups.

      Ntambolicous - 2012-08-23 22:58

      @ccracker I don't doubt the judge but he must compile his report for the politicians who will then edit it to cover the filth of corruptio on their ranks colliding with private business and exploiting people. I work for the government and I will tell this it's not just the ANC that is corrupt, white color crime involving big business is rife.

  • jimzimbo - 2012-08-23 22:27

    What about the role the anc government should have played ....and did not....why the trip to mocambique and the sudden rethink.....why the hiding behind the 1 week mourning period and only issuing statements when it suits them??

  • jimzimbo - 2012-08-23 22:31

    Zooma is so short sighted and stupid, he has played right into malemas hands!! the horse has bolted and zooma know that..

  • Sechaba30 - 2012-08-23 22:37

    What a bizarre country we live in: suddenly many white conservatives are defending the govt and the massacre by the police at Marikana.

      maylani.bezuidenhout - 2012-08-24 10:37

      You cannot attack the police and expect to live. They have a right to defend themselves. That is the law.

  • jacob.k.motadi - 2012-08-24 07:47

    What about the conduct of the miners, they consulted a sangoma and performed rituals that would make them invisible. They were prepared to kill, now that the muti didn't work, it's the police's fault their thug friends are dead. Probe the miners and their get-rich sangoma.

      maylani.bezuidenhout - 2012-08-24 10:35

      Exactly, and what about the unions? It is their responsibility to control their members. I'm sorry but if you're thick enough to think you can attack police officers who witnessed two of their own being killed the week before... If I saw some crazed, drugged up and armed people coming at me I'd also shoot! Consequences.

  • stefan.kruger.1297 - 2012-08-24 08:18

    To be honest, the government doesn't care about this, our race as humans are reaching the levels where they worry more about population control than anything else... to them is just a couple more less on this earth... So just imagine how the US government were smiling when 9/11 happened... Zuma and Malema don't care, it's all about the image remember... Rock-stars look like they look to fit the attitude... one thing that's a fact, is that DICTATORS FREE ONLY THEMSELVES, and ENSLAVE THE PEOPLE!!! The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish. . .

  • Johnson - 2012-08-24 21:11

    And the debate rages on: 1.Point is if you want to protest or strike, do it in a civilized manner and nobody will be killed. 2. Having said that: is it even remotely possible in South Africa - we see barbaric acts of violence by protesters. They go out to intimidate and destroy. 3.Fortunately this time, shots fired by the protesters = International law permits the right to protect themselves. Given the violent nature of these strike actions in this country, we can not blame the policeman who opened fire first, his pants must still be wet from that charge by the strikers with guns on them

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