CAPE TOWN, May 27– South African President Jacob Zuma has declared that the government will not tolerate any attack against anyone, including foreign nationals.
In his Budget vote address in Parliament here Tuesday, the president touched on issues such as incidents of violence, including the recent attacks on foreign nationals and the 2012 Marikana killings in North West Province.
“We have directed law enforcement agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice without delay. We need to send a strong message that our country will not tolerate such behaviour,” he added.
Zuma said he would release the report of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into Marikana before the end of June. The report on Marikana, where 41 striking miners were killed when security personnel opened fire on them during a strike, was handed over to the President on March 31, this year.
“I know and appreciate the anxiety of those who are affected. However, it would be inappropriate for me to just release the report without applying my mind sufficiently. The report will be released before the end of next month. “
Zuma maintained that despite some problems, South Africa was in general doing very well. “The fundamentals are in place; our institutions are strong and sound. All the arms of the State are functioning effectively, the Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary. This means that our hard won democracy is safe.”
While the president’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) agreed with his assessment, opposition parties were not so easily convinced.
“Despite the complex challenges that we are faced with as a country in the face of adversity, the men and women of this great country remain hopeful because the ANC remains committed to the deeply entrenched values underpinned by the Freedom Charter,” said ANC deputy Chief Whip Doris Dlakude.
Opposition parties questioned the timing of the release of the Marikana report. “Honourable Speaker, just exactly when as the president says it will be at the end of the month. It is a delay that is far too long, we cannot accept it. We request that the president make the report public immediately,” said Democratic Alliance Leader Mmusi Aloysias Maimane.
The Economic Freedom Fighters rejected the budget vote. “We want to demonstrate to the public that the budget promotes unaccountability and is based on gluttony, “said EFF deputy Chief Whip Hlengiwe Maxon.