Capitalists are using you, protests tell Ramaphosa

2014-08-12 19:50
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - Protesters repeatedly howled at Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as he concluded his testimony at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday.

"I deeply regret the deaths of all the people that died at Marikana. I deeply regret that," he said.

A group of men sprang from their seats in the Tshwane council chambers in Pretoria, where the inquiry is holding public hearings, and interjected.

"You killed them. You killed them for profit. You are a sell-out. Capitalists are using you," shouted the group of men.

"Paying R18m for a buffalo while people are hungry in Venda... You must be charged for murdering African people. This man is a buffalo."

Chairperson of the inquiry, retired Judge Ian Farlam ordered the protesters to leave the room.

Ramaphosa was cross-examined by Dali Mpofu, for the arrested and injured Marikana miners.

Concluding the cross-examination, Mpofu said he wanted to convey a final proposition from Sipete Phatsha, a Lonmin rock-drill operator who survived the Marikana shootings.

"He lost his big toe in the shootout on 16 August 2012. He has been working in the mines for more than 30 years. He joined the National Union of Mineworkers in 1982 when it was formed," said Mpofu.

"He has specifically asked me to say to you, as someone who was his hero.

"He doesn't believe that even if I put the proposition that I made, that you should be charged criminally, he also believes that we should recommend that you should be charged in the International Criminal Court."

Ramaphosa said he did not agree with the submission.

‘Prevent further loss of life’

He explained that he had not prescribed to ministers, when he requested them to up their intervention in days before 16 August 2012.

"I took it upon myself to call the [former] minister of police. I told him people are getting killed. I did say what would be helpful, to prevent further loss of life, is that the perpetrators be arrested," said Ramaphosa.

"I also talked to [former] minerals minister Susan Shabangu and I implored her to make sure that she communicates with the police minister so that we prevent further loss of life."

Another protester stood up and shouted: "You got us shot, Cyril. What you are saying is not evidence. You sold us out so that you would be at the same financial level with your brother-in-law."

Ramaphosa is married to Tshepo Motsepe, the sister of mining magnate Patrice Motsepe.

Farlam ordered that the microphone be taken away and that the man, who had a walking stick, be removed from the room.

After concluding his second day on the witness stand, Ramaphosa told reporters that he felt relieved.

"I did want to come and tell an account of what my involvement is. I am rather pleased that I have managed to tell the people of our country how I acted in all this," he said.

"My heart goes to the families that were killed. One feels very sad and sorry that their husbands lost their lives. One hopes that they find peace and one day they will find closure."

Regarding the heckling, Ramaphosa said "it was no big deal".

"You know I am a politician. When you are a leader, you must expect that there will be people who do not like you. People will throw rotten eggs at you, that's par for the course," he said.

Read more on:    cyril ramaphosa  |  ian farlam  |  dali mpofu  |  pretoria  |  marikana inquiry

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