Furious protesters demand Ramaphosa’s resignation

By Drum Digital
11 August 2014

Proceedings at the Marikana Commission came to a momentary halt when members of the public inside the chamber shouted at Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, demanding his resignation.

The chanting was started by social activist Trevor Ngwane, the former Johannesburg ANC councillor who organised social protests under the banner of the Anti-Privatisation Forum, who shouted that “Ramaphosa has blood on his hands” before other joined him.  The people who chanted donned white t-shirts that are emblazoned: “McCyril the killer” and have the logo of a buffalo.

This is problem in reference to Ramaphosa’s failed bid at a 2012 auction to buy a buffalo for his Limpopo farm. The commercial farm breeds some game species.

Ngwane and the small crowd later sang “Dali Mpofu awubabuze kutheni besidubula kanje” (Dali Mpofu, ask them why they are shooting us). Mpofu stepped in to calm the crowd after conferring with Judge Ian Farlam, and said they needed to give the commission a chance to quiz Ramaphosa.

A small section of the crowd had also been protesting outside. Judge Ian Farlam threatened to bar people who disrupted the proceeding from coming inside the chamber, and said they would be restricted to an overflow venue.

The interruption came while lawyers were debating whether or not Lonmin lawyers should be allowed to cross-examine Ramaphosa. Mpofu had objected saying it would amount to a “friendly” cross examination as Ramaphosa was on the board of the platinum mining company when 34 workers were shot down nearly two years ago.

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, for the Legal Resources Centre, had been quizzing Ramaphosa about the failure of Lonmin to implement its social plan on housing. He produced a report which showed that the company in 2009/10 only built three of the 5500 houses it had committed to build for its workers when the project stopped.

Ramaphosa, who was chairing the company’s transformation committee, admitted that this had been an “under-achievement”, but denied that he had seen the report.

He admitted that Shanduka, the company he resigned from when he went to government, got a R250 000 per month retainer for advising Lonmin about transformation. However, he said Shanduka never got a dividend for its investment in the mining company.

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, for the widows of the slain Marikana miners, will cross-examine Ramaphosa after the lunch break.

By Sabelo Ndlangisa

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