Ramaphosa raised at Marikana inquiry

2014-01-30 13:16
Judge Ian Farlam (Picture: AFP)

Judge Ian Farlam (Picture: AFP)

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

Pretoria - ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa made inquiries to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa about unrest at Lonmin mine in Marikana, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Thursday.

This was the testimony of North West police commissioner Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo, at the commission's public hearings in Pretoria.

Advocate Ishmael Semenya, for the police, led her evidence.

They focused on a transcript of a meeting between Mbombo and Lonmin mine executives, including Barnard Mokwena and Jomo Kwadi, on 14 August, two days before the shooting.

Mbombo wrote in the statement: "When I was speaking to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, he mentioned to me a name that is also calling him, that is pressurising him, unfortunately it is a politically high [individual]."

Mokwena interjected: "It is Cyril?" Mbombo replied: "Cyril Ramaphosa. Yes. When I was talking to national commissioner [Riah Phiyega] last night she said to me: 'Who are the shareholders here?' and I said I do not know the shareholders, but I know that the minister mentioned Cyril.

"And then she said: 'Now I got it.' You know why she says she got it? Remember, Cyril was in the [ANC] appeals committee of [Julius] Malema, remember?" Mokwena agreed.

Semenya then asked Mbombo to clarify what she meant by "pressuring" Mthethwa.

She responded: "This word pressuring that I used there, I use it very loosely. I use it when a citizen of South Africa phones me to be helped, or wants other people helped."

"It is not a word I think was used by the minister. I don't think he used this word to me. It is a word that I use often concerning people's problems that they want assistance on."

‘Politically high’

Semenya requested Mbombo to explain why she referred to Ramaphosa as "a politically high".

She responded: "At that time I did not know which political office he [Ramaphosa] was in. I meant that I knew that he was in high political office when his name was mentioned."

Commission chairperson, retired Judge Ian Farlam, asked Mbombo to explain why she had said "unfortunately" Ramaphosa was a politically high individual.

"Why did you use the word 'unfortunately'? I do not understand why you used the word 'unfortunately'. I don't understand what was unfortunate", said Farlam.

"I used the word because I didn't want to divulge his name. I also did not know the political office he occupied at that stage," responded Mbombo.

"There was nothing unfortunate about it. I used the word unfortunate because I did not want to divulge his name. I meant to say 'unfortunately I am not going to mention him by name'."

The commission, led by Farlam, is probing the deaths of 44 people in Marikana.

On 16 August 2012, 34 people, mostly striking miners, were shot dead and 78 people were wounded when the police fired on a group gathered at a hill near the mine. They were trying to disperse and disarm them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including the two policemen and the two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence.

Protests condemned

Businessman-turned politician Ramaphosa's name featured prominently in the early stages of the inquiry, in 2012.

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

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

"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.

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".

Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  anc  |  ishmael semenya  |  riah phiyega  |  dali mpofu  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  ian farlam  |  nathi mthethwa  |  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

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

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.