Uproar over Ramaphosa's refusal to answer Marikana questions

2016-03-09 18:42
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (News24)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (News24)

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Cape Town – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa refused to answer any questions on the Marikana shootings in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Wednesday.

He said this was on the basis of legal advice, following the summons that had been served on him.

"It is quite inappropriate for me to get involved in a personal or government level in any of the recommendations of Marikana."

Ramaphosa was responding to a question from EFF MP Leigh-Ann Mathys, who wanted to know what the government was doing to implement the Farlam Commission of Inquiry’s findings.

The commission, headed by retired Judge Ian Farlam, investigated the deaths of 44 people killed during strike-related unrest at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, near Rustenburg, in August 2012.

In his report, Farlam found that several major political figures, including Ramaphosa, could not be held responsible for the violence. He was a non-executive director of Lonmin at the time.

"The Commission is of the view that it cannot be said that Mr Ramaphosa was the 'cause of the massacre'," the report reads. 

In November last year, the Presidency said a summons had been served on Ramaphosa regarding Marikana, and that he had told his lawyers to defend the action.

Ramaphosa said answers could be obtained from other ministers.

Escorted out of the NCOP

This led to an uproar from the EFF MPs, who accused the presiding officers of protecting the executive.

Mathys was escorted out of the NCOP when she refused to sit down. She walked up to the front and wagged a finger at the presiding officer’s station.

No other questions were allowed on the matter, which led to opposition parties asking why it was even put on the question paper.

Ramaphosa was also questioned on the country’s plans for HIV/Aids, race and social cohesion, and wage inequalities.

Ramaphosa said the government was taking steps to eradicate racism, sexism, and other forms of intolerance.

He said government’s plan regarding transformation was set out in the National Development Plan.

"There continues to be asset poverty in our country. And these are measures we are addressing," he said. 

Government was looking at various measures to improve the quality of people’s lives and reduce poverty.

NCOP MPs called for the drought to be declared a national disaster, immediate solutions regarding the implementation of the minimum wage, and for the mending of racial divisions.

Read more on:    eff  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  ian farlam  |  cape town  |  marikana inquiry  |  marikana

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