/ 25 June 2015

Presidency disregards families of slain Marikana miners

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa said on Thursday that the presidency should have given the families of the slain Marikana miners sufficient time to prepare for the release of the report.

The presidency announced on Thursday afternoon that the report would be released in a live televised broadcast by President Jacob Zuma that night.

The institute represented 36 families of the miners who died at Marikana in 2012, as well as the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), at the Farlam commission of inquiry.

The commission’s final report was handed to the presidency on March 31.

Stuart Wilson, the executive director of the institute, said on Thursday that the families had specifically asked the presidency for advance notice before the report’s release so that they could prepare themselves for it.

“We would have preferred the presidency to take an approach that was more respectful to the families, who have been waiting for this report for over two years. This would have been an approach that would have allowed them to prepare themselves,” he said.

Wilson said to give the families a mere four hours’ notice to prepare for the release of the report, estimated to be about 600 pages, was not appropriate.

“It speaks to a lack of sensitivity that the presidency has shown throughout the process, not just towards the families but to everybody involved. And that’s unfortunate,” he said. 

The presidency acknowledged the families’ request in a letter, although there was no substantive engagement, Wilson said.