DON’T POLITICIZE MARIKANA – President Zuma says. President Jacob Zuma on Friday called on political parties not to use what happened at Marikana for political gain.
Speaking at the 60-year anniversary of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown, Soweto, Zuma said what happened in Marikana, where 44 people were killed during a platinum strike in the North West in August 2012, did not belong in the country’s democracy.
“This national tragedy brought back the pain and the shock that engulfed not only the families, but the nation at large,” he said at the 60-year commemoration of the adoption of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown, Soweto.
“We urge political parties not to use this national tragedy for political posturing. The tragedy should instead unite us as South Africans behind the resolve of eliminating all forms of violence in our country.”
He asked everyone attending the commemoration to spare a thought for the families of those who died in Marikana.
Zuma released the Marikana report to the public on Thursday evening.
Among other things, the commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, exonerated Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and the executive from any involvement in the killing of 34 miners on August 16 2012. Most of the blame was placed at the feet of the SA Police Service and its leadership.
Zuma on Friday told the crowd at Walter Sisulu Square, the site where the Freedom Charter was adopted, that the violence in Marikana had no place in the country’s democracy.
“We should draw lessons from this tragedy to ensure that never again would any conflict over wages or any reason, degenerate into such a shocking loss of life.”
He said work had begun to start implementing the recommendations of the Marikana report so that there could be closure.