ECONOMIC Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema pushed parliamentary rules to the limit on Thursday, alleging that the government and police officials were guilty of the premeditated murder of mine workers at Marikana in August 2012.
The last time Mr Malema made the accusation, in June last year, he was ordered to leave the House after failing to withdraw his remarks. It was his maiden speech in Parliament.
On Thursday, Mr Malema simply continued to speak when presiding officer Mmatlala Boroto sought to take angry points of order from the African National Congress (ANC) benches. Had the points of order been taken, Mr Malema would certainly have refused to withdraw his remarks and would have been evicted from the House.
Both Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane and Mr Malema took aim at President Jacob Zuma during Thursday’s "special debate on a matter of public importance", for his failure to assign political responsibility for the Marikana massacre. Sunday is the third anniversary of the atrocity, in which 44 people were killed — 34 by the police.
Mr Malema rejected suggestions that the EFF was turning Marikana into a political football. "We went there before the EFF was even formed," he said.
The presence of live ammunition confirmed that there was an intention and a plan to shoot to kill, he said. He once again accused Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa of being complicit in the killings.
Mr Maimane said Mr Zuma’s failure "to assign political responsibility for the massacre is indefensible. Not a single member of the executive, or the (police), has been held to account.... "
There was something fundamentally wrong with a system that had left the families of the victims at the mercy of a legal process that could take years simply to put food on the table, Mr Maimane said.
The irony was that the Marikana inquiry had cost R153m — almost R3.5m per life lost— to reach a set of conclusions that did nothing to provide justice, closure or compensation, he said.
ANC MP Francois Beukman said the ANC fully supported the findings of Judge Ian Farlam and would seek to implement the recommendations.
Wyndham Hartley for BDLive