Ramaphosa called for ‘deadly violence’, Marikana lawyer claims

2013-02-07 08:49

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ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for “concomitant action” and army involvement in the Lonmin strike was a “euphemism for deadly violence”.

This was the argument made by Advocate Dali Mpofu during cross-examination of National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president Senzeni Zokwana before the Marikana Commission of Inquiry yesterday.

The commission is probing the circumstances that led to the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike by rock drill operators employed by Lonmin.

Mpofu said he would argue the collusion between the state and capital was directly linked to the events of August 16 “in which 34 people were killed, more than 100 injured and more than 200 arrested”.

Mpofu referred to a chain of e-mails in which Ramaphosa, whose company Shanduka owns 18% of Lonmin, called for the deployment of the army and police and for “concomitant action” to be taken to end the strike.

Ramaphosa mentioned in an e-mail sent on August 15 that he had met with Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu.

“I called her and told her that her silence and inaction about what is happening at Lonmin was bad for her and the Government,” Ramphosa wrote.

He also mentioned in the same e-mail that he was going to meet with ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe “and suggest that the ANC should intervene”.

Ramaphosa said in the same e-mail that Zokwana and NUM general secretary Frans Baleni wanted to meet with him and the union’s former president, James Motlatsi, “to discuss what they should do as a union going forward”.

Mpofu highlighted the fact that Shabangu had earlier said in a radio interview the Lonmin strike was a labour matter, only to change her stance hours later, saying it was a criminal matter.

The hearing continues.

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