Marikana panel will hear from Ramaphosa

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IOL pic aug11 Cyril Ramaphosa file Independent Newspapers Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. File picture: Giyani Baloi

Johannesburg -

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will testify at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana shootings in Pretoria on Monday.

Dali Mpofu, for the mineworkers, said during the public hearings in July that Ramaphosa, a Lonmin shareholder, used former police minister Nathi Mthethwa to exert political pressure on the police to act against the protesting Marikana miners.

“You were the intermediary, the conduit, through which the pressure Mr Ramaphosa refers to was conveyed to the senior management of police and ultimately to the officers who killed people,” Mpofu said while cross-examining Mthethwa at the inquiry at the time.

The advocate read out an email penned by Ramaphosa, as a Lonmin shareholder, to fellow board members: “I have just had a discussion with Susan Shabangu (then minister of mining). She agrees that what we are going through is not a labour dispute but a criminal act.

“She will correct her characterisation of what we are experiencing. She is going into cabinet and will brief the president as well and get Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to act in a pointed way. Let us apply the pressure on them to act correctly.”

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana 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 the two Lonmin security guards, were killed. - Sapa



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