ANC split over Marikana?

2012-09-02 10:51

Cape Town - Tension over the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) decision to charge 269 Marikana miners with murder is leading to a possible clash within the ANC.

On Saturday, ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa, who is believed to oppose President Jacob Zuma’s bid for a second term as party president, became the first of the ANC’s top-six officials to openly criticise the NPA’s
decision, ominously warning that it could lead to “another Marikana”.

At the same time, Zuma refused to release the prisoners on Sunday, as requested by their legal team. Zuma said he would not interfere in the NPA’s work.

Phosa’s criticism of the charges follows that of Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga.

The NPA’s top bosses met behind closed doors on Saturday and it was rumoured that the murder charges could be dropped as early as Monday.

Apartheid trick

All 269 miners were charged with 34 counts of murder this week under the “common purpose” doctrine, which was frequently used by the apartheid state.

Speaking at an ANC centenary torch handover function on Saturday in Hartswater, Northern Cape, Phosa slammed the charges as reckless.

“Charging some of (the miners) in the face of a commission of inquiry is contrary to the sub judice rule, reckless, incongruous and almost absurd,” he said.

Charging miners with murdering their own colleagues could have consequences “too ghastly to contemplate”, Phosa warned. “We don’t need another Marikana. We need cool heads to prevail,” he said.

Police fired at striking Lonmin workers two weeks ago, killing 34 and wounding 78.

Phosa said the ANC was celebrating its 100th birthday at a time when its leadership is “substantially tested by
socio-economic realities”.

Lost faith

According to Phosa, the Marikana saga posed a big question for the ANC’s leadership: “Why have the workers lost faith in the legitimate authorities?”

He is politically linked to a group within the ANC that wants Zuma replaced by his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe in
December, and his views could be seen as an attack on Zuma’s leadership.

Phosa also took a swipe at Zuma for militarising the police, saying the country had to “urgently move more and more to civilian control of the police service, as it was envisaged at Codesa”.

Late on Saturday, lawyers representing the 269 miners were preparing an urgent court application.

Advocate Lesego Mmusi, who is part of the team, told City Press they were drafting papers to be served on Zuma and will file an urgent application with the North Gauteng High Court on Monday.

Zuma’s spokesperson Mac Maharaj issued a statement saying the president “cannot accede to the demand”. He said he will wait for the Farlam commission of inquiry’s recommendations.

Man behind the charges

The man who decided to charge the men with murder spoke out for the first time on Saturday.

Advocate Johan Smit the director of public prosecutions (DPP) in North West, told City Press a “prima facie” case existed to charge each miner with common-purpose murder.

But he said the NPA may consider individual prosecutions of each of the 269 accused and it might not oppose bail when the case resumes on Thursday.

Smit vehemently denied suggestions of a sinister motive behind the charges, adding that the NPA may change its mind depending on the investigation’s outcome.

“If we proceed to oppose bail, we will surely have to produce evidence linking the accused to the crime. I’m not doing anything strange here. Any other DPP would have taken the same decision,” said Smit.

Depending on what police uncover, the NPA’s “attitude” on opposing bail and the murder charges may change.

Harsh actions

“A lot of things can happen between now and then, but I can’t say what will happen,” said Smit, before he had a telephone conference with acting NPA head Nomgcobo Jiba about the case.

Jiba can review Smit’s decision and must report back to Radebe this week.

Radebe said the NPA’s decision had induced “a sense of shock, panic and confusion” among South Africans. He was backed by Motshekga, who said “we are all surprised and confused by the NPA’s legal strategy”.

Phosa’s view was backed by Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota who, in an interview with City Press, accused Zuma’s administration of the police’s harsh actions.

“When Mandela became president, the police force changed into a service. It remained a service throughout Thabo Mbeki’s two terms. Then Zuma comes in and tells the nation that the police should become a force,” Lekota said.

An ANC national executive committee (NEC) member who supports Zuma said there was growing unhappiness among NEC members about the murder charges.

But he slammed Phosa, saying: “If all of us (NEC members) go out and say our views it will be a disaster. We must close ranks, that’s why political organisations like us exist. I also have my own views, but I have to protect the organisation.”

On Saturday, Julius Malema’s Friends of the Youth League also asked for the miners’ immediate release.

  • mikembengo - 2012-09-02 11:02


      tw2066 - 2012-09-02 12:40

      Yeah its a dream. The ANCs sheep mentality means their members are either too scared or dumb to split.

      colin.dovey - 2012-09-02 13:13


      tw2066 - 2012-09-02 18:44

      Sour Grapes LOL, sure hahaha, sour grapes - thats a good one.

  • ISO - 2012-09-02 11:04

    A split in the ANC has already happened, COPE now! So we are looking at another party, ROPE.

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-02 11:09

      Cope?!? Hell no fool. They were to skelm for the anc even.

      desmond.drake.1 - 2012-09-02 11:21

      yes we will geve them rope to hang themselves up with. - 2012-09-02 11:36

      Maybe one called DOPE as in drugs!

      shimeAschendorf - 2012-09-02 12:00

      Hahahah,ROPE,I think is a good one, let his ANC melt like wax on fire, they should just disappear, people please vote change, don't vote for the party that rapes justice,

      xolani.t.ngobese - 2012-09-02 13:03

      ...and after all that, the ANC shall remain the ruling party!

      mantsho.tlali - 2012-09-02 13:52

      Not for long, soon they will be out of power ! because they cannot rule.

  • brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-02 11:05

    Looks like the circus's days are numbered.

  • - 2012-09-02 11:09

    South Africa is becoming an indocile country, but lets wait see what Zuma will do....

  • derek.gunter.946 - 2012-09-02 11:10

    The ANC is so blinded by its leader's power play they fail to recognise that they are willing to condone this kind of behaviour! NO! And let us remember that they are charged, not convicted (innocent until proven guilty). The purpose of a trial is to give the INDEPENDENT judiciary a chance to serve justice without ANC power players having the say! It is their responsibility to us, the people of South Africa, not the ANC! We all know this demand for reprieve is to gain favour with the troublemakers! We see what you are doing! We will not fall for your politicking! Criticise all you want but please, leave the judicial process to the judiciary!

  • ntsunyane.frederick - 2012-09-02 11:19

    WE know that splits are there in the ANC.They are now using the case to score political points prior to Mangaung.Marikana came at the right time for them.Rich Phosa is friend to Malema.I AM WAITING FOR POLITICAL CANVANSING IN 2014.-'Vote against police brutality,vote 4 better pay in mines....'

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-02 11:27

      Agreed. Most sectors, not just the mines deserve better pay but 12500?? Come one get real. Its not gonna happen and if malema keeps inciting them to violence we ganna have many more marikana's.

      nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2012-09-03 07:39

      brendon, we will never have any marikana again,we as police i suggest that we just walk away from strikers for the sake of our lives and leave the strikers to kill each other and destroy anything they can,rather than being charged for killing someone who wanted to kill you

  • - 2012-09-02 11:22

    Without sounding insensitive, I believe if the miners were unarmed and had not killed policemen the previous day, we would be talking a different story. Why do people demonstrate carrying deadly assegais? Why do people believe that they can harm the police and they can not be harmed in return? Why do we now have this violent culture that even a service delivery protest results in people trying to kill the police? And why do we as citizens tolerate this rot? The police surely can't be sitting ducks for deadly criminals. We need wholesale education of our people about what freedom really means and how far you can go. We managed with Aids education to some extend. A policeman is no lesser human being than a miner or a protester anywhere. At Marikana, police officers also died. They have been quickly forgotten. Their funerals are not broadcast and no politician attends. I am the angriest man in Southern Africa today!!!

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-02 11:37

      Not insensitive, just reality.

      david.lebethe - 2012-09-02 12:07 It is precisely this conduct of police in Marikana and elsewhere (read black townships, that has made them unpopular with most people. Apart from the fact, that policing and justice department are most corrupt component of government in this country, they are untransformed. Hence, you hear people like Smith talking about 'common purpose". It's a doctrine that was used by racists courts to pin down innocent people and send them to jail for many many years. Some of them were condemned to "hang paal" for crime they never committed. I condemn killing of police, but was it justified for police to avenge the murder of their collegues?

      gwilym.howes - 2012-09-02 13:27

      @David: Just remember,the mine workers started this. And then, when they armed themselves, they turned a strike into a riot. When they killed guards and policemen, they ipso facto declared that they embraced and endorsed violence. And the people they killed were not just killed: they were hacked and mutilated and burned. In my book, all those things gave the police the right to react in a similar fashion. Ask yourself: If you had a rioting mob that had already killed, close to your house or business, would you not EXPECT the Police to disperse them? If you were a policeman, and you knew that the rioters were armed and were prepared to kill, would you have stood against the charge of the rioters using 'minimum force'? I would not have. No. The rioters had set the scale of the conflict: maximum force, and when they tested the police again, the Police reacted with appropriate force. Every one of those armed rioters was acting illegally. The Police had a DUTY to disperse them, and it is not reasonable for us to expect them to use a soft approach when by their ations the rioters had shown THEIR level of violence. About the charged 269: If your loved one had been gruesomely murdered by a horde or marauding rioters, would you not expect the responsible group to be prosecuted? Of course you would.

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-09-02 14:14

      Lebethe if you watched the news, you would have see those heavily armed hooligans crouching like possessed Zombies, in the direction of the Police. This after they were given muti and made to believe that they were “invincible” by an idiot who masqueraded as an inyanga. The Police either had to shoot those hooligans in self~defence or be assaulted with all sorts of weapons by the “invincible” hooligans. What where they carrying pangas, spears and all sorts of dangerous weapons at a strike for anyway

      sibusiso.mhlongo.35 - 2012-09-02 23:34

      ja ne, even the talkative malemas of this world do not say anything about those policemen because according to them a police is just a dog. it is so irritating that we turn a blind eye on reality just because of favouritism. what is the intention of a person who goes on a protest with a dangerous weopon. weapons cannot be used to play soccer, rugby, tennis, cricket, etc. but they can only be used to kill. u know it is so amazing that even our media has forgotten about the police officers who passed away but instead they r now focusing on malema, the useless man who seeks to gain support at the expense of the late miners. it's good to know that we have some people even though just few, who regard policemen as human beings not dogs

  • themba.thwala.98 - 2012-09-02 11:25

    “Why have the workers lost faith in the legitimate authorities?\r\n\r\nIn fact a majority of right South Africans have long lost faith in the illegimate ANC authorities Mr Phosa. We have seen the oppositin grow and service delivery protests in scales unprecedented. So stop deluding yourself thinking it`s only the workers. The people of SA want to see change, starting with the removal of the utterly inept JZ and company

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-02 11:33

      We can never be satisfied. Politicians are all full of it. Once someone else is in place everyone will just keep on bitching.

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-09-02 11:47

      If as citizens we hire public servant\\politicians to run thr country on our behalf, we have every right every right to bitch and moan as their employer or they`ll rest on their laurels forgeting who`s their boss

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-02 12:00

      What u say is true but not the reality. In a ideal world perhaps.

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-09-02 12:04

      I don't know of any alternative to having the type of political system we do for the imperfect world order in which we live. Do you?

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-02 12:18

      I do. Me. Lol

  • Michael - 2012-09-02 11:30

    'ANC Split over Marikana' Media in this country know how to sell newspapers jong! I love this country.

  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-09-02 11:33

    Phosa you have a 'common purpose' beware the NPA.

  • don.mug.3 - 2012-09-02 11:36


  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-09-02 11:39

    Divide and conquer..the ANC is doing a superb job for and on behalf of the opposition! Carry on doing what you dumb sh*t ANC are doing! And Juliass this goes for you too !!

  • johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-09-02 11:44

    Let's not be over optimistic,but rather pray it's the final nail in Zuma's coffin

      anthonycharles.williams - 2012-09-02 12:08

      should be in the anc,s coffin

  • don.mug.3 - 2012-09-02 11:55


  • keith.ngobeni - 2012-09-02 12:11

    If you give fools power and money they'll start to destroy each other, if the DA can get a chance to govern this country, south Africa would be admired by so many nations as a country which is progressing forward, ANC has failed 18yrs in the throne nothing positive came out, corruption

      jaco.flemix - 2012-09-02 12:56


      keith.ngobeni - 2012-09-02 13:04

      News24 stop censoring comments that are far from offensive, what's wrong with you ANC apologist?

      sefako.mokgalaka - 2012-09-02 15:31

      The ANC had not invested enough into\r\nthe development of their leadership. A change in strategy is needed to redirect this ship. I don't belief DA will make the difference as they will also learn to govern and also make mistakes in the process. This is a learning curve for the ANC. It took over 46 years for the NP to create a mess to this beautiful country of ours. They were channelling their energy on about a quarter of the population or even less. ANC must put the right people in the right positions and the country will be on the right track.

      sibusiso.mhlongo.35 - 2012-09-02 23:37

      then vote for ur DA brother and let the people vote for whoever they want

  • njdejager - 2012-09-02 12:16

    @asarhondo lol your ASS bru! Who going to pay your taxes for you that you use for handouts? Eish

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-09-02 12:24

    You can not split something that is already broken.

      farmfreund - 2012-09-02 14:06

      you can give it to the government, it is either broken or gone

  • peter.ledger.902 - 2012-09-02 12:30

    The R12 500 wage demand and the effect thereof is basic economics. There seems to be a perception that mine shareholders are sitting on a huge pot of cash. Perhaps this is so but it makes no difference actually. If wages increase to R12 500, profits will decline which means shareholders' return on investment also declines. This will cause a sell off of shares as investors seek to match their required return on investment elsewhere in the market. The share sell off will ultimately cause closure of the mines as investers invest elsewhere. Malema and his cronies are using this situation for political gain and certainly not economic emancipation much the same as Adolf Hitler did. Unfortunately the masses don't understand basic economics and probably never will. Poverty, unemployment & hopelessness are a dangerous combination. What needs to happen is growth in the mining industry, fuelled by improved efficiency, productivity and efficient legislation (i.e. one devoid of corruption & maladmistration). Having said this I think the mines are partly to blame. If no infrastructure is developed around the mines to benefit the community then surely one would expect this kind of thing to transpire? Unfortunately everything in SA political. Corruption and maladministration have not been curtailed because of the political consequences thereof. Corruption is now so firmly entrenched that whoever attempts to deal with it quickly find themselves in a political desert. God help us all.

      dnxumalo2 - 2012-09-02 12:48

      listen man let us get back to honestly does not make sense for someone to earn R4 000 for 15 years in a platinum mine.I know people who earn up to R8000 in coal mines who work under ground.

  • solanga.maluleke - 2012-09-02 12:43

    The reason why Zuma disagree to release the arrested miners is that Cyril was involved in the panel of firing Malema to the ANC and here he is also involved in the board of directors and this is the favor of Zuma to Cyril. The miners can still remain in jail and we will all stand up for their release as they were bread winners in their family. Zuma does not care bout his people he care much about his personal life on the other hand being the president. If it was my like he was going to be ousted today after my comments. Who Ian's supporting the families of the arrested miners now as we know that the striking miners were not earning much and I believe hat there is no one who saved money in their bank accounts as they were all poor. if the miners were Zulus Zuma was going to interfere but they from Pondoland he distance himself.

      mantsho.tlali - 2012-09-02 13:56


  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-09-02 12:54

    Protect the ANC before serving the public, as we march on one giant step at a time rapidly becoming a dictatorship, as the state makes 'bazaar' decisions one after the next Or should we say the state run by the Zuma camp.... leads us further and further into a dictatorship. The ANC now wants to close ranks for what.... to decide to follow the same road as Mugabe? While South Africans squabble over the realities surrounding The Lonmin Massacre a reality which was completely avoidable, to be investigated by a ANC/Alliance government whose track record over the years has proven they are untrustworthy, infiltrated and compromised by hoodlums right to the highest office the list of names to long to mention every office including the NPA tainted in the worst possible way the highest office of the police run by gangsters. One cover up after the next cronies released prematurely from jail families of cronies running our national security agencies while families who seem to be in control of the highest ranks in the ANC build themselves massive compounds South Africa we are marching on blissfully into a full dictatorship one that is already showing signs equal to the National Apartheid regime. ANC is now fully controlled by the ZUMA(ZULA) camp which is backed and controlled by privateers. If I am wrong???!!! then 'Marikana' 'did not happen'.

  • Nhlanhlask - 2012-09-02 13:01

    I hate it when politicians use our emotions to gain our votes. What happened in Marikana in my view was already overdue. I wish I can urge all protesting commuters to refrain from taking advantage & undermining our police officers. Why carry weapon when we striking for salary wages, why do we attack piece or crowd control patrons?

  • kenneth.kgosi - 2012-09-02 13:31

    Consequences of voting Mediocrity to power 'i hope as South africans we wil learn frm dis

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-09-02 13:42

    Wherever Mathews Phosa goes, I'll follow

  • Bongani Manqoba Mazibuko - 2012-09-02 14:11

    unlike Zuma MR Phosa has no Shower on his head.

  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-09-02 14:12

    politicians are feasting on human blood.

  • Yong-Se Cosa Nostra - 2012-09-02 14:18

    wish i could just move to another country. . .

  • dimitripappas - 2012-09-02 14:27

    For once I respect Zuma's decisions

  • ernest.lwandle - 2012-09-02 19:52

    how good and how pleasent day would be before all peace loving south africans. to see the downfall off Cancer AND see the reunification off all south africans.once we were judged by the colour oure skins know we judged by the colour of our flesh

  • alwyn.vantonder - 2012-09-02 22:08

    ..and they're all running like mist before the sun.. because they don't want to be caught in the same boat as zuma.. we will all remember zuma as the father of a corrupt state.. But here we are, let's remind zuma about ZERO TOLERANCE!

  • vincent.vinsaint - 2012-09-03 06:51

    “When Mandela became president, the police force changed into a service. It remained a service throughout Thabo Mbeki’s two terms. Then Zuma comes in and tells the nation that the police should become a force,”. The man just like changing things for the sake of changing.

  • kyle.buitendag - 2012-09-03 08:12

    blah blah fish paste, i say shoot the rest of them........

  • mawetu.janda - 2012-09-03 10:02

    It is not surprising ANC is spliting each hour of day because it is now(that before) led and filled by people (so called politician)who don't have ability to think in a logical way and understand how the country should be run.

  • cassandra.e.olivier - 2012-09-03 16:39

    There was Loss on both sides, there are police wives and husbands that also lost there spouse at night they explain were mommie/daddy is, just like the miners

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