Cyril’s chilling Marikana email

2012-10-23 08:24

Business mogul and ANC national executive committee member Cyril Ramaphosa allegedly said in an email discussion between Lonmin management and government officials on the eve of the Marikana shooting that events around the strike “are plainly dastardly criminal acts and must be characterised as such”.

This startling revelation was made by Advocate Dali Mpofu in his opening statement before the Marikana Commission of Inquiry this morning.

Mpofu, who represents the more than 200 people who were arrested during the bloody strike and 78 of those injured when police opened fire on the strikers on August 16.

Ramaphosa is a Lonmin shareholder and former secretary general of the National Union of Mineworkers. He made an offer of R2 million for the burial of the slain mine workers, which was rejected by leaders of the strike.

Mpofu said the email was sent at 2.58pm on August 15, almost 24 hours before police moved in on the strikers gathered on a hill and fired at them.

Mpofu described the killing of the striking miners as “extra-judicial killings”. He said one of his clients said in a statement: “When I saw the policeman coming, I thought I was going to die.”

The witness is also quoted as saying that he had overheard a police officer saying during the shooting: “You people killed two policemen and eight other innocent people.”

Mpofu said evidence in his possession suggest that one of the eyewitness accounts said one of the men emerged from the rocks at the koppie with his arms raised, but he was shot in the face by police and died on the spot. The man behind him was also shot and killed.

Mpofu said BEE partners, just like corrupt tribal chiefs did in the past, were colluding with mining houses to exploit mineworkers.

He also referred to the 1 922 mine workers’ strike on the Witwatersrand, where the government sent in the air force to crush the strike, as an example of long standing collusion between government and capital in crushing worker uprisings in the mining sector.

He said the police were motivated by malice and revenge when dealing with the strikers at Marikana.

The hearing continues.

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