It is almost three years since the Marikana massacre, when 34 people where killed. The commission of inquiry into the events, headed by Judge Ian Farlam, submitted its report to President Jacob Zuma on 31 March, but the president has still not released the report to the public, claiming that he is applying his mind to its contents. Durbanites told ZILUNGILE MNISI what they think about this delay.
About the Marikana report: I think Zuma is delaying it for a reason, but even people are very impatient and society wants to know what is really going on. He has to act very quickly, because as a citizen I’m also concerned because this was supposed to be out like three months ago already. I do not understand why there is such a major delay. Other nations even describe our country as a failure based on the way our government system works. Well, I don’t really believe that South Africa is a failed state; it’s just that the issues we are facing as a nation have to be sorted out as soon as possible.
I do not see the Marikana report coming up with something that we do not already know. This incident happened two years ago, but still the facts are not clear about what happened. So it would be nice to have the report that would clarify what happened. People have moved on – I mean, it happened two years ago, so maybe that is why Jacob Zuma is dragging to have the report out because he knows by the time it comes out no one will have an interest. Personally, when it happened I felt for all the people who were involved and affected.
We know that when it comes to the Marikana massacre, high-profile people were involved so it is possible that people are implicated. We don’t know because these people are public and prominent figures and the president is trying to protect these people. Citizens will end up not trusting the president as he is delaying the release of the report. We don’t know what he is doing with it now so he must release the report because as the public we want to know the truth. We want him to hold the responsible people accountable for whatever happened.
I think the government wants to cut out all the things they don’t want people to know about, then release the report. We have had a recent report that was questioned: the Manase report. There were issues of making it public – only those who were privileged saw it, but they were not allowed to take photographs of it. Nobody was allowed to make copies of it or tell anyone else about it. So I think it’s the same issue with this Marikana report – there are things that they do not want us to know.
Firstly I feel that it is a South African tendency of doing things. I feel that a certain person that is also in power is implicated in the report, which is why it could be taking so long to be made public. As they say, with money comes power, so anything that a powerful person says goes. As much as it is wrong that they are hiding it from us, because we want to know, there is probably nothing that we can do about it. I wish there was something that could change the way that such situations are dealt with. This is almost similar to the Nkandla issue, as much as there’s something that they are hiding; no one is going to say something about it.