Ramaphosa: Marikana violence dastardly criminal

2014-08-11 13:36

Pretoria - Violence during the 2012 Marikana miners protest was described as "dastardly criminal", the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Monday.

This was the term used by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, then a non-executive director of Lonmin, in an e-mail to Lonmin colleague, marketing director Albert Jamieson on 15 August 2012.

"By that time, around eight people had been killed, including workers and police. I viewed this as criminal acts [because of] the description of how the people had been killed," Ramaphosa told the inquiry in Pretoria.

He was led in submitting evidence by his lawyer David Unterhalter.

Acts of criminality

"Much as I was not on the ground, as I got all these reports, I concluded that these were acts of criminality," said Ramaphosa.

He wrote in the e-mail that the Marikana incidents should not be characterised as a labour dispute.

"You said 'they are plainly and dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such'. Tell us why you used that language," said Unterhalter.

Ramaphosa responded: "I could not [find] a better way of describing it, when someone is killed and their body parts are then cut out. I couldn't find a better way of describing it because it was quite horrific."

Unterhalter asked Ramaphosa to explain why he said there needed to be "concomitant action to address the situation".

Ramaphosa said he wanted police to arrest the perpetrators of violence.


"I felt that this needed the police to take appropriate action to identify those involved in the acts [of criminality], and arrest them so they would not continue killing people in that brutal way."

Ramaphosa said he had spoken to then police minister Nathi Mthethwa regarding the unrest but did not "prescribe" the level of intervention required.

The commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West, in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police, over 70 were wounded, and over 250 arrested on August 16, 2012. Police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two Lonmin security guards, were killed.

  • Zee Komani - 2014-08-11 13:58

    Agreed. There's nothing unbecoming said by Ramaphosa there, the brouhaha against him will probably amount to nothing after this testimony.

  • Mpandla Gcaleka - 2014-08-11 14:17

    why la mapolice agaboshwa bcz la mapolice abulala basebenzi

  • Annemieke Nieboer - 2014-08-11 14:29

    R is the criminal here, not the miners. They were peacefull on strike at a place were they not bother anybody. It is a disagrees that the board members ( so also R. ) of the mine and the police ( is the state ) were working together!

  • Thamsanqa Kenneth Phore - 2014-08-11 14:33

    I understand they were 10 people killed on that day not 3 so who killed the other 7 and why everyone is so quiet about them

  • Azwinaki Alpheus - 2014-08-11 14:43

    Ramaphosa is a BEE criminal. The evidence shows that in deed he was just protecting his investment. He didn't care about the mine workers. Even when u look at his face, he has what we call a '' killer face and a killer smile''.

  • magwaitn - 2014-08-11 15:27

    The buffalo man must simply step down nd continue to milk sa with his bee connections.

  • Ducatisti - 2014-08-11 15:52

    I think CR is the Criminal

  • John Mogorosi Matlaopane - 2014-08-11 19:44


  • Guy Goes - 2014-08-12 14:20

    Here we go again screaming ,shouting , insulting, in the end, pre the massacre miners killed guards and police. I saw the peaceful miners, armed and dangerous bearing down . They were an excited gang intend to do harm. Afterwards non of the leaders had the courage to stand up or were claiming responsibility. It is clearly a matter of two rival union gangs fighting for influence. The police had limited option and were poorly led, they appeared in serious danger.

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