Why Marikana workers want R1 billion in compensation

2015-11-29 15:00
Mzoxolo Magidiwana is claiming R5.5?million for his injuries 
PHOTO: Leon Sadiki

Mzoxolo Magidiwana is claiming R5.5?million for his injuries PHOTO: Leon Sadiki

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

The mine workers who were wounded and arrested during the Marikana massacre are suing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, mining giant Lonmin and the government for nearly R1 billion, claiming their “collusion” led to the tragedy.

The 329 mine workers have already instituted a civil claim of R1 billion against the presidency, the National Prosecuting Authority and the police minister.

Last month, they filed a fresh claim in the South Gauteng High Court against Ramaphosa, Lonmin and government claiming they “acted in concert” and Ramaphosa should have foreseen that the “pressure he exerted” on police would have resulted in injury and death.

Two weeks ago, Ramaphosa told Parliament he had received the summons, but he declined to elaborate. He has yet to file responding papers.

His spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa, said: “The deputy president has instructed his lawyers to look into the matter and defend the action. Nonetheless, the findings of the [Marikana Commission of Inquiry] in his personal capacity remain very clear.

“We’ll leave it in the capable hands of his lawyers,” he said.

Before the massacre, Ramaphosa – a former nonexecutive director of Lonmin – called the police minister at the time, Nathi Mthethwa, asking for “concomitant action” against the striking workers. But the chair of the commission, retired Judge Ian Farlam, found no evidence to suggest Ramaphosa had anything to do with the massacre.

However, in court papers, the mine workers argue that:

. Ramaphosa’s emails and phone calls to politicians and Lonmin officials were the reason the police shot dead 34 strikers on August 16 2012 and that he, Lonmin and government “acted in concert” in the “collusion of state and capital”, which resulted in the massacre;

. Ramaphosa should have foreseen that involvement by the police would cause the death of strikers;

. The “pressure exerted by him” was passed on from politicians to senior police officers and to the police who shot the strikers;

. Ramaphosa was negligent as a director, shareholder and BEE investor in Lonmin and together they shirked their legal responsibilities to protect their workers from harm;

. Ramaphosa “actively incited violence, predictable death, serious injury and unlawful arrests, detention and prosecution”; and

. He failed to promote or initiate meaningful negotiations about the mine workers’ wages.

The mine workers argue that Lonmin:

. Directors and senior employees participated in email exchanges with Ramaphosa;

. Unlawfully colluded with police to end the strike by any means; and

. Instigated premature use of police violence against the strikers to protect Ramaphosa’s financial and political interests.

The mine workers are demanding damages for pain and suffering to the tune of more than R977 million. They also want an unconditional apology, an “undertaking by all parties to refrain from similar conduct in the future” and a monument and reconciliation programmes for all the massacre’s victims.

This is the first civil claim against Ramaphosa.

The families of the 34 men who died in the massacre are also suing Lonmin and the minister of police, and have demanded an apology and compensation.

The court papers include a breakdown of how much compensation each injured worker wants and a description of their injuries.

Mzoxolo Magidiwana, who was shot at Scene 1, is suing for R5.5 million after sustaining multiple gunshot injuries, including an injury to the right femur and right hip.

“For a while, I have had this pain on the side of my stomach. When I went to get it checked, I was told the doctors would have to cut me open again,” he told City Press.

A few weeks ago, he had to undergo surgery for a stomach infection.

“I have to live an active life now, but it’s not easy. I know I will never live a full life again and there’s no way my body will be able to carry me to old age, especially when I may have to continue undergoing these operations,” he said.

“I am glad I am alive, because the way my body was riddled with bullets, I should have died, and Cyril had a role to play in that.”

About the apology they want from Ramaphosa, he said: “Asking for forgiveness is greater than all the money in the world.”

Read more on:    lonmin  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  marikana

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/World

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
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.