Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Party, is demanding action against the Marikana killers. In a bold move, Malema called upon President Jacob Zuma to release the Farlam Commission report handed over on March 30. The document must be made public and bring closure to the devastating police action against striking miners. During the strike action in August 2012, 44 people were gunned down by South African Police, at Marikana near Rustenburg in the North West.
The Farlam Commission investigated the incident and handed a final report to Zuma at the end of March 2015. To date, the report has not been made public, and Zuma said careful consideration was needed to ensure this type of incident does not happen again. As South Africans wait for the release the report, impatience begins to force the government to take action by making the report public without delay.
In typical Malema style, and while addressing a rally at the beginning of May, in Port Elizabeth, Julius said the report will reveal the responsible person of the Marikana deaths. Malema wants to know who gave the instruction “shoot to kill”. Malema said that the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was behind the killings.
Malema said that when the released report was finally made public and evidence that Ramaphosa was not the one responsible, the EFF party would not accept the finding. The EFF want the report to state that Ramaphosa is guilty and be arrested for the murder of the Marikana massacre.
During the rally, Malema lambasted the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party and told the 7000 crowd to do some soul searching why the ANC party was voted into power. Malema said the ruling party was a murderous party.
Malema did not stop throwing insults at the ANC and compared the ruling party to the apartheid regime. Reminding the crowd of the Sharpeville massacre where 69 people were gunned down and over 180 arrested for protesting against apartheid.
On Thursday, this week, Malema once again stated that the report be made public and vowed to pursue private prosecution if Cyril Ramaphosa was not found responsible for the murders at Marikana. Addressing miners outside the Constitutional Court, Malema reminded the crowd about how the EFF party had pursued the Marikana issue and is seeking justice. The message delivered by Malema was aimed at the ANC government and the involvement of Ramaphosa, who gave the instruction to police to shoot the miners.
With delays in publishing the Marikana Commission report, it would not be surprising if the report indeed gave evidence of Cyril Ramaphosa of being guilty. The report according to Malema will find Ramaphosa guilty of killing the former Marikana workers who died when the South African police opened fire. The police action according to Malema was a direct instruction from Ramaphosa to shoot to kill.
The Marikana massacre has hurt the ANC government and compares to the Sharpeville murders when the apartheid government was condemned. The ANC government are delaying the findings by trying to deny the identical incident. During the Marikana killings in August 2012, there was sufficient evidence to know that the police opened fire at the protesting miners who were charging down the hill. It might be said the police acted in self-defense and comparison to Sharpeville, it was a clear intention of the police to shoot to kill.
Other political parties, including leaders of unions are calling upon President Zuma to release the report urgently. Residents and family members who lost loved ones during the massacre need closure in the terrible violence that changed lives. People believe that the report will tell the South African people who gave the order to shoot to kill. It is critical for South Africa’s constitution to know the truth. President Zuma knows the outcome and delaying the report to be made public indicates that the ANC government is in conflict.
There is a significant public interest in the story, and critical questions might be answered when the findings are finally revealed. It is important to know if the Marikana mineworkers posed a threat to the police warranting the action of shooting to kill. The residents are hopeful that the report recommendations will place the government in a position to concentrate on improving the lives of community members in general.
Opinion by Laura Oneale
News24 – Protestors demand Marikana Report
EWN – Malema – Cyril Ramaphosa is behind Marikana Killings
Citizen – Make Marikana Report public – Numsa
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