'Probe police bosses over Marikana'
POLITICAL parties in Parliament want the commission of inquiry into the Marikana massacre to probe the role of the SAPS leadership, including Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and National Commissioner Riah Phiyega.
The DA has called for the head of Ian Farmer, the CEO of Lonmin Platinum, and the secretaries general of rival trade unions Amcu and NUM. DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko led the charge during the National Assembly's special debate on the Marikana massacre, saying the commission of inquiry should establish who ordered the police to use live ammunition.
Mazibuko said her party was concerned that nobody in government was ready to assume political responsibility for the bloodbath. "In most democracies, a crisis of this magnitude would have immediately precipitated the resignation of the minister."
Cope president Mosioua Lekota said the police's use of deadly force was an infringement on the constitutional right to life. "Who was leading? Who gave the orders? What intelligence report did the police have?" he asked.
The debate was almost derailed when Minister of Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu took aim at Lekota.
Shabangu accused Lekota of being "more brutal", saying he had unleashed soldiers on striking civilians in Khutsong in Gauteng when he was still minister of defence in the Thabo Mbeki administration.
Lekota denied it, saying: "This is unfounded. I have never sent soldiers to Khutsong to kill people, it never happened."
But Minster of Water Affairs Edna Molewa, who was involved in the Khutsong matter as the former premier of the North West province, testified against Lekota. "I am just enlightening the house that I am a living witness to that event. Former minister Lekota did that, I was there with him," she said.
Returning to the subject, Shabangu said it was wrong for mining communities such as Marikana to continue languishing in poverty while they observed the "conspicuous consumption by companies and mine bosses".
She called on the mining industry to change the way it dealt with socio-economic issues in mines and within mining communities.