Marikana accusations haunt Ramaphosa

By Drum Digital
17 September 2014

Economic Freedom Fighters’ leader Julius Malema was chucked out of Parliament this afternoon after he refused to apologise for claiming that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa had the blood of 34 Marikana workers on his hands.

Economic Freedom Fighters’ leader Julius Malema was chucked out of Parliament this afternoon after he refused to apologise for claiming that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa  had the blood of 34 Marikana workers on his hands.

Ramaphosa was in Parliament to answer questions in his capacity as the leader of government business in Parliament. Last month, he appeared before the Marikana Commission for his role in the tragedy that saw 34 mine workers mowed down by the police, and 10 dying in the violence preceding that a few days earlier.

Malema asked Ramaphosa about the alleged contradictions between the deputy president’s testimony and that of former Mining Minister Susan Shabangu at the commission : “Why is the deputy president not accepting responsibility for the deaths of the 34 mine workers who died? You killed them because you were driven by your profits”.

“Stop this thing that we must all take responsibility…Your hands have got the blood of innocent people who died in Marikana. It is important for you to accept responsibility. “

Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete intervened and asked Malema to withdraw his comments, but the EFF leader stuck to his guns.

“I am not going to do that. The deputy president killed people in Marikana.”

EFF’s Floyd Shivambu entered the fray by directly accusing Ramaphosa of being a “murderer”, and asked Mbete to explain what rules she was invoking by ordering Malema to leave the house.

“Which rule prevents us from saying Cyril is a murderer?” he asked. The MPs walked out.

An ANC MP alleged that Shivambu had shown the middle finger to the deputy president on his way out.

Malema had initially asked how Ramaphosa reconciled his testimony before the Marikana Commission with any of the government intervention to alleviate the conditions in mining.

Ramaphosa said the government had made four interventions, including helping the families of the deceased and setting up the commission.

He went on to list interventions aimed at beneficiating the metals, changing the social and economic legacy of mining and helping to change the migrant labour system under Zuma’s leadership.

“This is a government at work addressing the challenges are facing. I believe the government will succeed in addressing those challenges,” he said.

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