EFF wins Marikana fair comment case

Miners gather at the historic Marikana koppie on the second anniversary of the massacre. (Paul Botes, M&G)

Miners gather at the historic Marikana koppie on the second anniversary of the massacre. (Paul Botes, M&G)

It was fair comment by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to say that the ANC government killed people in Marikana in 2012, the Cape Town high court ruled on Wednesday.

The court set aside a ruling by National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise against the EFF on June 19 last year, when she said it was an unparliamentary statement that did not accord with the decorum of the House.

The court also set aside her order that the EFF withdraw the statement.

The opposition party’s victory shows that South Africa is still a constitutional democracy, said EFF lawyer Luvuyo Godla.

“What this says, it gives a message to the public that irrespective of how formidable a political organisation is, this is a constitutional democracy and everything must be done in accordance,” said Godla after the court ruling.

Modise ruled in June that the statement by party leader Julius Malema was unparliamentary because it implied that the government was guilty of murder.

A defiant Malema insisted at the time that he would not withdraw his statement that “the ANC government massacred the people in Marikana” and was ordered to leave Parliament. This led to the remaining EFF members walking out in solidarity.

Thirty four people died and more than 70 were injured in the shootings in Marikana on August 16 2012. – News24.com

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