Zuma defends Marikana raids

2012-09-17 16:25

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma hit back at opposition parties on Monday for comparing a strong police presence in Marikana, North West, to apartheid tactics.

"We appeal to some political party leaders in the country who have been vocal, to desist from the irresponsible language of comparing the Marikana law enforcement campaign to apartheid-era measures," he said at the Congress of SA Trade Unions' 11th national congress in Midrand.

"They know that what they are saying is not true. They are unashamedly using a tragedy to score political points instead of putting the interests of the workers and the country first."

Last month, 34 striking workers were shot dead and 78 wounded in a clash with police at Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West.

Zuma said the increased police presence at Marikana was a reaction to increased intimidation and violence by striking workers.

"This [police presence] does not take away the rights of miners and residents to protest, peacefully and unarmed, as provided for in the laws of the land. The agencies have been told to be firm, but to respect the rights of residents and strikers," he said.

"This applies not only to labour disputes, but also in service delivery protests which are at times also accompanied by violence, including the destruction of property."

He said Cosatu needed to "deliberate on the balance of forces" and strengthen itself, especially in the mining sector.

"We have to find a way to restore workplace stability and labour peace. Violence cannot become a culture of our labour relations," Zuma said.

"Workers and employers need to use the laws of the land which spell out clearly how to handle disputes between themselves."

Zuma also congratulated Cosatu's leadership after all positions were retained unopposed.

"Originally I was supposed to greet you, before elections. Now I must greet you as the new office bearers... and I wish to congratulate you, this new fresh from the box, collective of the office bearers," he said.

"It says something to this federation... that when challenges are there, this federation brings back unity."

He said he needed to thank Cosatu delegates for preventing those who wanted to "deplete" the federation from taking control of the congress.

  • judith.taylor.56 - 2012-09-17 16:36

    he speaks with forked tongue

      keith.f.murphy - 2012-09-17 16:44

      Not only with forked tongue but with his forked D*ck !! he is a real corrupt poepsak , the Gods must be crazy by now and soon we will let the dogs out.Zuma is implementing apartheid in reverse gear the thinks we all are idiots like him.

  • Desilusionada - 2012-09-17 16:37

    K..A..K....... Everyday the same old story. "...unashamedly using a tragedy to score political points instead of putting the interests of the workers and the country first." Who sent his ministers and 'other parties' to memorial services and 'inspections'? And when a young jumped up poltroon proves to be able to make more political points, the army is called in? Not that he can even tell who gave the order to a "force" of which he is the CIC.........

  • osmaseko - 2012-09-17 16:40

    Mr President, you are a Dick-Tator.....

      dimitripappas - 2012-09-17 16:41

      Too much Jonah Takalua for you ;)

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-17 16:42

    Never thought the day would come that I would actually agree with something which was spoken by this man! If you are peaceful,unarmed and not endangering anyones life,then you have nothing to fear!

  • jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-09-17 16:47

    We all know who you are referring too Mr Zuma.. Are you too afraid to mention his name????

  • jean.tredoux.5 - 2012-09-17 16:51

    Zuma if it was the DA you would have shouted racist, apartheid, white dictatorship etc, now that is your party you are suddenly in the defence mode?! The anc is just another apartheid party that is batting for a different team now.

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-09-17 16:55

    I am not a fan of Zuma, but we need law and order in the country. Intimidation and violence should not be part of any democracy. Good work Mr Zuma.

  • PaulGBoyd1 - 2012-09-17 16:55

    Have to give the Pres a thumbs up for this one!

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-09-17 17:02

      google .Bert the cat vs cat balloon. See Zuma giving malema a klap.

  • gneralle.edon - 2012-09-17 17:11

    Its ok for you use the presidency for your personal gain,You prick!!!!

  • teelle - 2012-09-17 17:14

    Zuma must make sure people are protected at Marikana and make sure their labour rights are secured.Our rights are being violated, Mining and Retail they are the most low salaried paces in SA and that's where money is made...CCMA doesn't work because they buy them

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-09-17 17:23

    What a joke, Zuma has become P.W. Botha, except for one thing, he can't lie as well as Botha did. What a laugh, Zuma....we are 'donnering' the people but this is different to when police did it under apartheid, and if anybody accuses us of 'donnering' people like under apartheid, we will arrest you when we finished 'donnering' the miners. ANC/alliance have become South Africa's shame.

  • temudau - 2012-09-17 17:26

    Jzee (Msholozi) wats his view on marikana, this is gone out of hand that a National President FAIL...! 2 adress da matter

  • Tim Elliott - 2012-09-17 18:23

    Judgement yet another attribute this shocking man doesn't possess.He and his goons happily blame APARTHEID for all their numerous failures but now thinking citizens musn't liken current crisis to apartheid era!How f...g annoying!

  • punungwe - 2012-09-17 20:25

    The government does have a right to enforce the law. Disarming violent people and dispersing violent crowds is part of that right.

      Vernon.J.Brown - 2012-09-17 22:03

      there shud be respect< in faact, fearful respect fot the police

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