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Amcu: Real truth about Marikana not yet revealed

Amcu says it’s disappointed by the content of the Marikana report and says truth has not yet been revealed.

FILE: Marikana miners singing outside High Court in Pretoria on 15 June. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is disappointed by the content of the Marikana findings which were released by President Jacob Zuma on Thursday evening.

Amcu stated that the truth has not yet been revealed about what exactly happened at the koppie on 16 August 2012.

In the report, the inquiry's retired judge Ian Farlam praised Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa for his efforts to try and convince strikers to lay down their arms and leave the koppie, but slammed the union for not having control over its members.

Mathunjwa says he's disappointed that the commission didn't make any concrete findings about who should ultimately be held responsible for the deaths.

"It's so disappointing because they're saying that there is going to be another investigation of which the same investigation could have been conducted through the two years of the commission."

The Amcu president added that he's extremely disappointed that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, then Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Mineral Resources Minister Suzan Shabangu have been let off the hook.

"There was evidence that was led during the commission that there was constant communication between Shabanagu, Nathi and Cyril. The only thing that was not known is how many people would be killed and for them to be implicated leaves serious questions."

He has lashed out at the commission's recommendation to set up an inquiry into National Police Commissioner' Riah Phiyega's fitness to hold office, saying if they remove her from her post it will not resolve the Marikana mystery.

"It's not about removing a person but it's about the truth of wheat led to the killing of 34 mineworkers is what is important, because it might be moved to the next higher position within government."

Mathunjwa says he is making plans to visit its members on the North West mine at the weekend to discuss the report during a mass meeting.

WATCH: The 2012 Marikana shooting.

NUM WELCOMES FINDINGS

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has welcomed the findings but stop short of responding to the damning findings against the union.

The inquiry found that the union wrongly advised rock drill operators that no negotiations with Lonmin were possible until the end of the two year wage agreement.

It has also been blamed for failing to persuade Lonmin to speak to workers and to control its members.

The NUM's acting spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said, "The NUM will study the report once it becomes available and make further public statements on its findings and recommendation soon."

Mammburu says the process of healing can now start for the bereaved families.

"The final report will contribute immensely to the closure that the families who lost their loved ones have long sought and the final chapter on those events can be closed."

WATCH: Highlights of Zuma's Marikana report.

FRANS BALENI CALLS FOR THOROUGH INVESTIGATION

Former NUM boss Frans Baleni, who was part of the leadership during the Marikana shooting, says although it has taken the commission almost three years to investigate what led to the killing of 44 people, a thorough investigation is still needed.

The inquiry has recommended the National Prosecuting Authority deicide whether anyone must be prosecuted.

Baleni says the commission failed to recognise the role the union played to prevent that more people died at the koppie.

"Nobody has given credit on the measures we took to prevent further bloodbath and who were being planned to be killed overnight."

He says there is a strong lesson for unions to be learnt from this incident.

"The behaviour of unions and the workers themselves tend to create the impression that they were ignorant but they were armed to the tee. There are a number of untold stories of women who were stoned naked because they were reporting for duty."

The report also found that the NUM ill advised its members which led to their deaths.

DEATHS

Ten people died in the days leading up to the shooting at Lonmin's North West mine when rock drill operators protested for R12,500 salary.

On 16 August, another 34 people died when police opened fire on armed protesters on the koppie.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry was established by the president to investigate if the police were justified in using lethal force.

The inquiry sat for 293 days and heard testimonies from 50 witnesses about the violence that broke out at the North West platinum mine.

To read the full report, click here.

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