Cape Town – South Africans must wait for the findings of the Commission of Inquiry on Marikana before making any judgment on how the shooting had taken place, President Jacob Zuma said today.
Responding to questions raised by MPs in the National Assembly today, Zuma advised South Africans to be patient and wait for the results of the commission.
“It is absolutely important to note that a very big tragedy happened and that we don’t know the actual details and it is important therefore to wait for the commission to establish facts and the commission must give a report and recommendations,” Zuma said.
The terms of reference for the commission were gazetted yesterday and work is continuing to sort out the logistical arrangements to enable the commission to begin its work.
He said the government continues to support the families of all 44 people who were killed in Marikana through the Inter-Ministerial Committee led by the Minister of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane.
He said the Marikana tragedy had further highlighted the deepening levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality in South Africa.
The tragedy had also emphasised the need to accelerate the transformation of the mining sector.
South Africans must also put the country first and defend it from the opportunism that will set the nation back by many years, he said.
In reply to a question about what progress the country had made in improving education, Zuma said there were more and better facilities in schools than there were at other times and more children were at schools than before.
The country was also on track to meet its target of 100% of children in Grade R by 2014 – with Grade R having increased from 300 000 in 2003 to more than 700 000 by last year.
He said government had identified and classified several schools as no-fee schools and that over eight million children were now in no-fee schools.
The implementation of the Annual National Assessment tests for the first time last year would help the country to more objectively assess the health of the education system, he said.
He said he had received a report from the Presidential Task Team, led by Deputy Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene, on the problems around delivery of textbooks in Limpopo.
He said he was considering the report and would indicate his response in due course.
In reply to a question from the Parliamentary leader of the opposition, Lindiwe Mazibuko, on whether he had instructed his minister to provide funding for the Nkandla-Mlalazi Smart Growth Centre, Zuma said he had not instructed ministers to provide funding for the centre.
“The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is, however, supporting the Masibambisane Rural Development Initiative with the detailed planning of the Nkandla initative,” he said.