Ramaphosa not responsible for Marikina tragedy - Lonmin

2014-11-10 15:15
Cyril Ramaphosa (File: Sapa)

Cyril Ramaphosa (File: Sapa)

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

Johannesburg - Lonmin could not criticise Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa for his role in events during the unprotected strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine in August 2012, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Monday.

"I cannot criticise Mr Ramaphosa on what he did. He did what any responsible businessman would've done," Schalk Burger, for Lonmin, told the commission in his final arguments.

Ramaphosa was a non-executive director of Lonmin at the time of the August 2012 wage-related strike.

He had been accused of using his political influence to get the police to act against the striking workers.

Burger argued that Ramaphosa's motive was to "stabilise the situation and bring the violence to an end".

Wage demand

He added that the commission's evidence leaders had not suggested that Ramaphosa did not exercise his best endeavours.

Earlier, Burger argued that Lonmin could not breach the legal framework to negotiate with mineworkers.

He said that one of the problems they had was that none of the strikers could explain how they reached the figure of R12 500 for their wage demand.

"We haven't heard that to this day. We don't even know if a housing allowance was included in that. What we do know is that that was net... and that it was non-negotiable," Burger said.

He referred to the testimony of striker Mzoxolo Magidiwana who testified that even if Lonmin had gone to the hill where the strikers had gathered and asked them to disarm themselves, go home, and then engage in talks with Lonmin, they would not have entertained that.

Unrealistic request

Burger said it was an unrealistic request to have expected Lonmin to engage with the strikers outside of structures given that they were armed, ignoring a court order, and running amok.

"What is the point of criticising Lonmin for not talking to the strikers?" Burger asked.

"If they had talked, it would've caused rippling into the mining industry which we would not have been able to unravel... it would not have prevented the tragedy on the 16th [of August]."

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people at Lonmin's platinum mining operations in Marikana, North West, in the strike-related unrest in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police on 16 August 2012.

More than 70 people were wounded and more than 200 were arrested. The 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.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  marikana inquiry

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.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.