South African President Jacob Zuma plans to release findings of an investigation into the deaths of 44 people at Lonmin Plc’s Marikana mine before the end of June.
Zuma made the announcement Tuesday in the National Assembly in Cape Town in the face of calls to turn over the report immediately. He established a Commission of Inquiry headed by retired Judge Ian Farlam to investigate the violence.
“The country needed to know what had happened in Marikana where more than 40 people lost their lives,” he said.
The killing of 34 protesting workers at the mine, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, on Aug. 16, 2012, was the deadliest police action in South Africa since the end of apartheid. Ten more people, including police, died in violence before that day.
The inquiry, known as the Farlam Commission, finished its final session of hearings in November, more than two years after the incident. South Africa’s presidency received the commission’s report on March 31.
Members of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters demanded that Zuma release the report immediately, delaying the start of his address in parliament.
Andries Nkome, a lawyer for the arrested and injured victims of the violence and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, said his clients were demanding that the report be released as soon as possible. More than 300 civil claims will have to be processed and presented by Aug. 16, within three years of the incident, he said by phone from Pretoria, the capital.
Witnesses who gave testimony to the commission ranged from Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a non-executive director of Lonmin before he took the government position, to police officials and mineworkers.
“Every minute that passes without this report being made public cheapens the lives of every person massacred at Marikana,” Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance party, told the National Assembly. “The miners, their families, the lives of all South Africans are diminished by the President’s delay. Let the truth be known.”