Ramaphosa's motives at Marikana questioned

2014-11-12 14:57
(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Pretoria - The intervention of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa during the unprotected strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine in August 2012 was driven by ulterior motives, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.

"Anybody who believes that Lonmin, Mr Ramaphosa, were really running around, bringing all these thousands of bullets because of their concern for Mr Fundi and Mr Mabelani - anyone who believes that can believe anything," Dali Mpofu, for the wounded and arrested Marikana miners, told the commission in Pretoria.

"That was not the point. Of course we are all appalled at deaths. The 10 people who had died are human beings. If anyone believes that it was creating the hullabaloo, [he] has to think again."

Lonmin senior security guards Frans Mabelani and Hassan Fundi were killed during a confrontation with the strikers on 12 August 2012. In that week, eight other people - two policemen and mineworkers - were also killed.


Mpofu said the interventions by Ramaphosa and Lonmin were not inspired by the 10 deaths.

"With the greatest respect, I think 10 to 15 people die in Soweto alone every weekend and we have never seen all these people running around bringing thousands of the STF [police special task force]. It's a lie that they were moved by that," said Mpofu.

"I am not saying they were so inhuman to be unmoved but the hive of activity we saw [after 12 August 2012] was not driven by that."

Ramaphosa was questioned at the inquiry in August regarding his interventions at Marikana.

He said when he called then police minister Nathi Mthethwa on 12 August, he did not prescribe how police should intervene in the violent strike.

"I felt duty bound to try and help, to see the extent to which one could communicate to those in authority," Ramaphosa said at the time.

Ramaphosa made the call to Mthethwa after he, then a non-executive director at Lonmin, had received an e-mail from Lonmin colleague, marketing director Albert Jamieson.

'Use your influence'

An extract of the e-mail read: "We need help. I urge you to please use your influence to bring this over to the necessary officials who have the necessary resources at their disposal."

Ramaphosa confirmed to the commission that he had received the e-mail.

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

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

Over 70 people were wounded and over 200 were arrested. Police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

The 10 other people were killed the previous week.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  marikana inquiry

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