South Africa Marikana Massacre Report

South Africa

The President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, released the long-awaited Marikana Massacre report and said that the findings exonerated all top government officials from any wrongdoing. The African National Congress (ANC) government have no political accountability, and it is the culture of the ANC to cover up all the wrongs. The ANC have blood on their hands, and have once again proved to be a party of thieving criminals.

The South African Police take the brunt of the Marikana disaster and police commissioner Ria Phiyega must respond to Zuma within a month on the findings. Phiyega is not fit for the position of police commissioner. Opposition parties want more action and investigations into the Commissions report. Both unions involved in the Marikana disaster, The Association of Mineworkers and the Construction Union, (AMCU) and the National Union of Mines (NUM) have been cited in the report as not handling the situation correctly. The executives of Lonmin have also been cited as not having done enough to divert a disaster.

AMCU president Jose Mathunjwa said the report was disappointing because there is mention of another investigation, an investigation Mathunjwa said should have been concluded during the two-year Farlem Commission inquiry. Mathunjwa was disappointed that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, as well as Mineral Resources Minister Suzan Shabangu, were absolved of any offense.

The official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) strongly criticizes the findings and believe President Zuma misled the nation by stating that the Commission found the executive had played no role in the decision of the police to implement tactical option on that fateful day, when 34 miners died. The DA stated that the Constitution of South Africa placed the political responsibility for the actions of the SAPS in the hands of the Police Minister.

Before the release of the report, Zuma said the miners were killers, and the police were at the scene to prevent further murders taking place. The startling comment by Zuma, two days before the release of the report, was an indication that the ANC government was protecting the police. Cyril Ramaphosa, who was actively involved in the Lonmin mine, was asked to avert a disaster and arrange for a large police contingent. The police, who were armed for battle, shot the miners who were defenseless against the military-type action of the police.

The 34 miners were shot and killed in full view of the world. The commissions findings did not call for any apologies, nor compensation for the families of victims. There were no recommendations for prosecution or accountability, either. The conclusions of the commissions report do not differ from the massacre at Sharpeville in 1960, or the Soweto riots in 1976 under the apartheid government of South Africa. The death of the 34 miners who were brutally murdered in broad daylight is a tragedy, one which nobody is taking responsibility for.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema is not convinced the report is justified, and will assemble a team of legal people to study the 600-page report. Malema said the EFF will not stop until the people responsible, in particular the political elite that presided over the police, including Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, were prosecuted. Malema said the political elite of South Africa cannot think it is above the constitution or democracy, and the justice system must be able to subject anyone, regardless of position. The Marikana massacre is a crime against humanity, according to Malema.

The ANC government appointed police Commissioner Ria Phiyega, who evidently did not have the proper experience. The ANC must take accountability for placing an inexperienced official in such a high position. Did the ANC take advantage of Phiyega? Ramaphosa advised the police commissioner, and did Phiyega act on that advice? The report acquits Ramaphosa of all wrongdoing, and those affected by this tragedy feel this is misleading. The findings of the Farmlem Commission report have left the people of South Africa with a despondent attitude toward the president of South Africa, as well as regarding the quick turnaround of releasing the Marikana massacre report. The result of the report does not specify or hold accountable the people who gave the police the right to carry live ammunition, and permission to give orders to kill. Once again, the ANC government has managed to evade the responsibility for the unlawful activity at Marikana.

Opinion by Laura Oneale

Edited by Chanel van der Woodsen

Source Times Live – President Zuma releases Marikana Report

Photo Courtesy of GovernmentZA Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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