NEWS

Zuma Makes Overdue Comments On Marikana Compensation

"The SAPS should review the adequacy of the training of the members who use specialised equipment."

12/12/2016 07:49 SAST | Updated 12/12/2016 08:47 SAST
Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Getty Images

The South African Police Service (SAPS) needs to relook at how adequately members who use specialised equipment, including water cannons and video equipment, are trained, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.

"The SAPS should review the adequacy of the training of the members who use specialised equipment, such as water cannons and video equipment, and ensure that all members who may use such equipment are adequately trained to do so," he said.

"All SAPS helicopters should be equipped with functional video cameras."

Zuma was giving an update on steps taken by various government departments to implement the Farlam Commission of Inquiry recommendations.

The compensation process was initiated after the Marikana massacre, in which police shot 112 striking Lonmin mine workers — killing 34 of them — on August 16, 2012.

The presidency announced on Sunday that government is ready to compensate families of the Marikana victims.

"The SAPS has instructed its attorneys to make offers of payments in full settlement of claims for the claims where quantification were complete and are not under criminal investigation," President Jacob Zuma said in a statement.

Panel of experts for public order policing

The police action was apparently in an attempt to disperse them and end their industrial action.

On Sunday Zuma said the commission recommended a panel be set up to look into matters relating to public order policing. This panel, as well as a ministerial transformation task team, were up and running.

The panel of experts, Zuma said on Sunday, was drafting interim recommendations on police equipment.

"The SAPS has also procured equipment as required by the Farlam Commission of Inquiry Final Report, which mitigates the challenge experienced during the Marikana tragedy," he said.

"All radio communications should be recorded and the recordings should be preserved. Plans for Public Order Policing operations should identify the means of communication which SAPS members will use to communicate with each other.

"A protocol should be developed and implemented for communication in large operations including alternative mechanisms where the available radio system is such that it will not provide adequate means of communication."

Zuma said the quantified claims that could be carried forward included the majority of the loss of support claims in favour of those killed.

"The 275 unlawful arrest and detention claims are quantified, complete and ready for settlement," he said.

He said only one of the claimants had charges pending, and the outcome was still awaited.

There was still one action comprising personal injury claims in respect of 275 individuals and 81 separate actions relating to individual personal injury claims.

"The personal injury claims are still delayed by the fact that the plaintiff attorney is still considering to agree on one set of medical experts, which will be efficient both for the process and with regard to costs."

With regards to healing, Zuma said that on August 12, 2015, North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo established the Marikana Reconciliation, Healing and Renewal Committee to promote healing, cohesion and lasting peace among affected communities.

After the mass shooting in 2012, Zuma established a commission of inquiry, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, to look into the matter.

It found that no senior government officials, including Lonmin non-executive board member Cyril Ramaphosa, were responsible for the shootings.

Phiyega suspended

After the multiple killings at Marikana, Zuma established the commission of inquiry, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, to look into the matter.

It found that no senior government officials, including Lonmin non-executive board member Cyril Ramaphosa, were responsible for the shootings.

It however recommended a probe into police commissioner Riah Phiyega's fitness to hold office.

Zuma suspended Phiyega in October last year.

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