After mounting pressure from civil society organizations, including a threatened court action by the families of the victims, President Jacob Zuma has told parliament that he will release the report of the Farlam commission of inquiry into the Marikana massacre by the end of June. But, the families of the victims are not impressed as they shall have to wait.
“They said the commission will be done before 2013 but up until today in 2015 we still have to wait to get even the report” lament a worker who was at the scene when police, brutally killed fellow workers and comrades who stood firm to demand a living wage.
Andile Yawa’s son, Cebisile was one of the workers who was gunned down by the police on August 16 2012. Indicating his fears about the Farlam commission, he says that when the commission was set up in the beginning it had no interest in the workers but focused more on the bigger players as if the police and the company (Lonmin) were victims.
“I never trusted the commission and I do not trust the results that will come out of the commission. Now the report is out and it is only seen by the government and not the workers; I will not be surprised if the police and the bosses have seen the report and know that workers are going to be labelled as criminals as they had been when they started demanding a better life,” said Andile.
I will not be surprised if the police and the bosses have seen the report and know that workers are going to be labelled as criminals.
Lonmin has employed at least one member from each family to replace the post of the dead mine workers of 2012 with the view that this was compensation for the loss suffered by the families.
But according to Yawa, not all of the miners were bread winners. Some were enjoying their salaries and not going back home,” said Yawa with soft laughter in his tone.
Workers wait to see the results of their historic strike to demand a living wage for what is rightfully theirs. Will it be classified as criminal or a turning moment in the South African mining sector. “If bodies of dead miners in 2012 had weapons placed next to them what are chances of the report incriminating mine workers?” Anele Nogwanya asked.
The report on the fateful day is eagerly awaited by workers, but they have mixed feelings as they are not sure what it will reveal. Some indicate that it was a mere formality since they charged workers of murder and not the police. They see the report as a trick to justify the case against them, others agree and quickly change their mind to say the police will be charged as they lied to the commission.
The desire is that the police and the commissioner of police should be charged and workers and widows be compensated. A lot has not changed since the massacre. The hostels are yet to be transformed to single living spaces were workers could have their privacy.
To ensure fairness, justice and transparency the report should have been made available to the public when it was rst handed over to President Jacob Zuma.