Ramaphosa wanted 'concomitant action'

Rustenburg - ANC heavyweight and businessman Cyril Ramaphosa’s name was prominent on the second day of hearings, at the Rustenburg Civic Centre, into the Marikana shootings.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, representing the miners injured and arrested after the shooting on August 16, said there was an e-mail in which Ramaphosa strongly condemned the protests, described them as criminal acts and suggested "concomitant action".

"This [e-mail] was on 15 August at 14:58, exactly 24 hours before the people were mowed down on that mountain," said Mpofu.

"We have e-mails that were being exchanged between Lonmin management, government ministers [of mineral resources and the police] and at the centre is a gentleman called Cyril Ramaphosa," he said.

"He advanced that what was taking place were criminal acts and must be characterised as such. In line with this characterisation [Ramaphosa said] there needs to be concomitant action to address the situation," said Mpofu.

‘We will go to the ICC’

He said the e-mail was addressed to a certain "dear Albert of Lonmin".

Mpofu said Ramaphosa had called for action to deal with the "criminals, whose crime was to seek a wage increase".

Mpofu pledged that his team would find justice for his clients.

"We are going to get justice, either here or at any other forum, even the ICC [International Criminal Court], where we will lay charges against the police who shot our people," he said.

Mpofu said evidence would be led to discredit claims that the shootings were spontaneous acts committed in self-defence by police officers.

"What happened was premeditated murder of defenceless people. It had been agreed at a police meeting held on August 16 that ‘stage 3’ of their plan was going to be executed and those discussions had gone as far as [the] police commissioner and the minister," he said.

‘Police, Lonmin the main causes of massacre’

Mpofu said that on August 16, the North West police provincial commissioner had called journalists and told them that "today is the day".

He said among the cause of the Marikana tragedy was a "toxic collusion between the state and capital".
"The main causes of the massacre are the SA Police Service [SAPS], other agencies of government, and Lonmin. The people I represent here seek the truth for themselves and their colleagues who passed away," he said.

Mpofu described the actions of the police as "murder and extra-judicial killings".

He claimed people who had fled were caught by the police, that they surrendered and were shot, some in the face.

‘Ridiculous’ allegations

Allegations that the protesters were under a “muti spell” and believed that they were invincible were "nonsense".

"I hope that this commission will not degenerate to those levels. If these people thought they were invisible, why did they run away? Those suggestions are baseless and ridiculous," he said.

The police opened fire while trying to disperse a group encamped on a hill in Nkaneng, killing 34 mineworkers and wounding 78 on August 16.

The workers had been carrying knobkerries, pangas, sticks and iron rods.

Workers at the mine went on strike on August 10, demanding a monthly salary of R12 500. Within four days, 10 people had been killed, two of them policemen and two of them security guards.
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