Johannesburg - Closer scrutiny of
living conditions in mines will help to improve conditions for mining
communities, SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande said
"In all of the understandable fury
(and) anger, very few have pointed to the history and current
trajectory of the mining industry in South Africa as the principal
culprit in all this," he said about last week's shooting in
"This is not for purposes of
laying blame for the sake of it, but to contribute towards a better
understanding of the totality of the reasons behind this tragedy."
Nzimande, who is also the minister of
higher education and training, was sending condolences to the
families of people killed in violent protest action at Lonmin
[JSE:LON] platinum mine, in Marikana in the North West.
Police opened fire on a group of
striking mine workers last Thursday, killing 34 of them and wounding
78. In the preceding week, 10 people - including two police officers
and two security guards - died in protests.
Nzimande said the SACP acknowledged the
leadership shown by President Jacob Zuma in appointing a judicial
commission of inquiry and the ministerial team.
Zuma announced in Pretoria on Thursday
that retired Supreme Court of Appeal judge Ian Farlam would chair the
judicial commission and would be joined by advocate Bantubonke Tokota
and advocate Pinglar Hemra.
They would conclude their work within
Nzimande said the SACP would make its
own submissions to the commission.
It viewed this as an opportunity to
consider and analyse the nature of the mining industry in the
country, Nzimande said.
"This incident should send a very
clear message that there is a sustained attack and offensive against
Congress of SA Trade Unions in particular," he said.
"The SACP has also correctly
warned that where our detractors and enemies sense some divisions
amongst our ranks, then they always tend to go on the offensive."
Nzimande said the response from the
government indicated that it was concerned about the deaths.
"Of course, this does not and must
not mean that we do not have a responsibility as a country to
constantly focus on the transformation of the police," he said.
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