Ramaphosa is Marikana accused No 1 - Mpofu

2014-11-12 18:15
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should face main criminal liability for his role in the August 2012 Marikana shooting, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.

"We say Mr Ramaphosa should be accused number one in the murder case. The LRC [Legal Resources Centre] has two lists of accused persons - one for accused in the police and another from Lonmin, said Dali Mpofu, for the wounded and arrested Marikana miners.

The list of people who should face charges from the police department was topped by then police minister Nathi Mthetwa. The Lonmin list had former Lonmin head of human resources Barnard Mokwena on top.

Mpofu said the lists should be altered.

"If you are not going to charge Mr Ramaphosa, don't charge anybody. You cannot have a situation where the source of the political pressure, the person who ignited the whole chain which resulted in the massacre [not being charged]," said Mpofu.

"He must be the first accused on both lists.

"This is not some innocent non-executive director of Lonmin as he tried to make us believe. He was in the board meeting of the 25th of July where a decision was taken that the strikers mustn't be engaged [by Lonmin]," said Mpofu.

"Chairperson, nobody is asking you to convict the person. My submission is that the chairperson is quite empowered to recommend a prosecution. All we are saying, there is reasonable suspicion of a crime being committed here."

The commission should swim against the perception of having "different rules for different folks".

Ramaphosa had caused several people to breach constitutional dictates.

"The Constitution says very clearly the police must not be involved in making political considerations. One of the people who wrote that Constitution caused that to happen. He caused the police minister, police commissioner and everyone to cross the lines that are set by our Constitution."

Mpofu submitted to the inquiry that Ramaphosa's interventions during the unprotected strike were driven by ulterior motives.

He said Ramaphosa pressurised the former police minister to act against the protesting miners.

Lonmin senior security guards Frans Mabelani and Hassan Fundi were killed during a confrontation with the strikers on 12 August 2012. In that week, eight other people - two policemen and mineworkers - were also killed.

Mpofu said the interventions by Ramaphosa and Lonmin were not inspired by the 10 deaths.

"With the greatest respect, I think 10 to 15 people die in Soweto alone every weekend and we have never seen all these people running around bringing thousands of the STF [police special task force]. It's a lie that they were moved by that," said Mpofu.

"I am not saying they were so inhuman to be unmoved but the hive of activity we saw [after 12 August 2012] was not driven by that."

‘We need help’

Ramaphosa was questioned at the inquiry in August regarding his interventions at Marikana.

He said when he called then police minister Nathi Mthethwa on 12 August 2010, he did not prescribe how police should intervene in the violent strike.

"I felt duty bound to try and help, to see the extent to which one could communicate to those in authority," Ramaphosa said at the time.

Ramaphosa made the call to Mthethwa after he, then a non-executive director at Lonmin, had received an e-mail from Lonmin colleague, marketing director Albert Jamieson.

An extract of the e-mail read: "We need help. I urge you to please use your influence to bring this over to the necessary officials who have the necessary resources at their disposal."

Ramaphosa confirmed to the commission that he had received the e-mail.

The commission, chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during the strike-related unrest at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West, in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police on 16 August. Over 70 people were wounded and over 200 were arrested.

Police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

The 10 other people were killed the previous week.

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

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