The Speaker of the North West Legislature Mr Mahumapelo Chairperson of the JCPS Cluster and Director-General of The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Ms Sindane Executive Major of Rustenburg, Councilor Khunou All councilors present Magosi a rona Senior government representatives Representatives of organised labour Representatives of the mining community Organised business Community Policing Forums Present members of the community Members of the media. I greet you all!
Let me start by advising the gathering that our Minister of Police would have loved to have been here with us. This day is important for him as it is for all of us. There is a three-day Cabinet Lekgotla which he had to attend.
We are here today to launch the Mine Crime Combating Forum. You may, rightly so, ask yourself what it is.
In summary, it is a joint effort by all relevant stakeholders, as outlined by Major General Asaneng in his presentation, in the mining industry that is responsible for safety and security of the mines. The main driver behind this initiative is to ensure that mining operations can be done without any hinderances and safety of the mining communities. The intention is for each and every one of us to commit and action our responsibilities as required by law.
As the stakeholders interact, they will be sharing information, challenges, and best practices as well as jointly coming up with sustainable solutions to address problems specific to their industry.
The South African Police Service is fully prepared to play a major role in sustaining the Mine Crime Combating Forums and in ensuring that they function effectively as a sub-structure of the Cluster Crime Combating Forums. These forums are already in existence in the other provinces with mining operations.
As the National Commissioner, and therefore as the accounting and accountable officer, I fully commit the police to supporting this venture to bring stability to the mining industry. I also pledge this organisation to strictly adhere to the Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry, to which we are one of the signatories.
The employees of the SAPS, both within this province and countrywide, will perform our duties as outlined in the framework agreement with fairness, impartiality and consistency.
We will, at all times in the performance of our duties, endeavor to uphold the Batho Pele principle of ‘people first’ and to work within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
Let me use this opportunity to join other leaders who have been calling on everyone involved (the police, unions and media) to remain sensitive to the fact that the situation in Marikana has been, and continues to be, fragile. As we reflect on this tragic event, I appeal to leaders to make public statements aimed at fostering harmony between all parties involved.
I wish to echo the call, made by our Minister of Police, Honourable Nathi Mthethwa, when he was in this area yesterday, for sharing of information and cooperation between the police on the ground and the members of the community.
Bagaetsho, Setswana sa re mabogo dinku a thebana. Ke fano go kopa ka boikokobetso gore a re dirisangeng mmogo. South Africa ke naga ya rona. Re tshwanetse go e aga mmogo.
Cooperation with the community is crucial for the SAPS because, without their positive involvement, we cannot be effective in our work. Most of the killings in the Marikana area happen during broad daylight. It is inevitable that the incidents were witnessed, and yet there has been a concerning silence.
We appeal to community, whom must surely wish for an end to this senseless violence, to volunteer information. This is the most effective means by which the SAPS can bring a rightful conclusion to this destructive situation. What is happening in Marikana is not only destructive for the Marikana community; but it is not beneficial for the mining industry and the South African economy and societal framework. We all have to do everything within our power to normalise the situation.
The framework is also clear on roles and responsibilities by all of us, which inevitably, means we have the accountability and responsibility of reporting to South Africans on what we have done. The implementation of the framework is therefore not an option, but a must, for the sake of this generation and future generations.
This is demonstrative of our commitment to:
Act decisively to enforce the rule of law, maintain peace during strikes and other protests, ensure protection of life, property and the advancement of the rights of all citizens, including crime prevention measures
Ensure that law enforcement agencies act in a manner that is fair, impartial and objective and that all care is taken to protect life and property
Put in place adequate and appropriate capacity in the form of detectives and specialist prosecution teams to prosecute cases on violence, intimidation, assault and murder
Prioritise the investigation and finalisation of cases arising from lawlessness in and round mining areas, in appropriate designated courts. Enforce municipal by-laws related to gatherings and demonstrations.
In fact, the status of the public violence cases which relate to the Marikana violence, post 11 August 2012 is that we have 13 cases that are currently on the court roll. Some have been postponed due to the sitting of the Farlam Commission, others are ready to proceed and ready for trial, and we have confidence that the perpetrators will be accordingly punished.
As I have indicated previously on various platforms, we have to wait for the Commission processes to be completed. I hope that all participants at the Commission will do all they can to ensure that the process is completed speedily so that affected families and communities can find closure.
I wish to reiterate that there will be many lessons to be learnt once the Commission’s findings and recommendations have been made known. We will engage the public again once this process has been completed.
One of the crucial elements of this framework is focusing on management of violent protest actions and related criminal cases. Worryingly, some of these violent and illegal protests are accompanied by carrying and brandishing in public of dangerous weapons.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am certain that you will agree with me when I say that fundamental to a properly functioning democratic society is law and order. It is the cornerstone of any democratic society.
Let conclude by appealing to everyone not to rush to link and attribute each and every incident to differences between unions. This only serves to instigate retaliatory attacks.