Mthethwa: No political pressure over Marikana

2014-07-14 12:18
Former police minister Nathi Mthethwa (Cornél van Heerden, Beeld)

Former police minister Nathi Mthethwa (Cornél van Heerden, Beeld)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Former police minister Nathi Mthethwa denied on Monday he was under political pressure to intervene in the deadly mining strike at Marikana in Rustenburg two years ago.

Mthethwa, now the minister of arts and culture, was led in submitting evidence before the Farlam Commission of Inquiry in Pretoria by Lindi Nkosi-Thomas, for the police.

"Minister, did you or did you not bring undue political influence on the [police] operational team on how they should conduct themselves during the tragedy?" Nkosi-Thomas asked.

Mthethwa said he did not.

"I didn't, because that is not how I understand my mandate. The task of the minister is to ensure that policy is being implemented," he said.

"There would be no need for any pressure, except for oversight over police. People who do the job are asked to do the job."

E-mail correspondence

Nkosi-Thomas asked if any person had applied political pressure on Mthethwa to act on the Marikana strike.

Mthethwa said no one had put him under pressure.

Nkosi-Thomas then moved to e-mail correspondence penned by people including then Lonmin chairperson Roger Phillimore and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, as a Lonmin shareholder.

Mthethwa said he was not party to any of the e-mail conversations.

"The first point [from the e-mails] is that a cabinet meeting was to be held on 15 August 2012 at which you and Minister [Susan] Shabangu would be in attendance. At that meeting, Minister Shabangu was to brief the president [Jacob Zuma] and get you to act in a pointed way," said Nkosi-Thomas.

"The other thing that emerges from the e-mails is the characterisation of what was happening in Marikana. It had ceased to be a labour unrest situation and people had lost their lives."

‘Ramaphosa ‘was concerned’ about situation

Mthethwa said that on 15 August 2012, he was doing ministerial work in KwaZulu-Natal and did not attend a cabinet meeting. He said there was no Cabinet meeting on that day.

He said no one had told him to act "in a pointed way" but some people were calling him, raising concern about what was happening at Marikana.

"Firstly, I spoke to the deputy president now, Mr Ramaphosa, who had called and left a message. He explained to me that the situation in Marikana was bad. He said he was concerned because people were dying and property was being damaged.

"He said as far as he could see there were no adequate police on the ground.

"A similar message had been left by Mr [Senzeni] Zokwana as president of the National Union of Mineworkers," said Mthethwa.

Ramaphosa set to testify

He said he had the telephone calls with Ramaphosa and Zokwana on 12 August 2012.

"I immediately contacted the [North West] provincial commissioner of police to ascertain the veracity of what I heard from the two gentlemen.

"The provincial commissioner confirmed that there was such a thing. I then wanted to understand what the police management was doing to deal with the situation, to prevent any damage," said Mthethwa.

Mthethwa was police minister when 34 people, mostly striking Lonmin mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police on 16 August 2012.

More than 70 were wounded, and another 250 arrested at the company's platinum mining operations in Marikana, near Rustenburg.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and the two security guards, were killed.

The commission is investigating the 44 deaths during the strike-related violence.

Ramaphosa is set to testify at the inquiry later this month.
- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  nathi mthethwa  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  ian farlam  |  riah phiyega  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest  |  marikana inquiry
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014

Check out some of the sexiest celebrity Instagrams of 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.