Johannesburg - If looks could kill, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa would have dropped dead as soon as he walked into the room to give evidence at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry.
“We just glared at him as he walked in. We hate him,” said Trevor Ngwane, an activist and member of the Marikana Support Campaign.
Ngwane led the chants of “Blood on his hands!” against Ramaphosa at the commission on Monday.
Speaking to The Star, Ngwane said they had been angry at Ramaphosa since the death of the mineworkers in 2012.
He said it was not one specific thing that triggered their reaction on Monday, but a culmination of many things Ramaphosa had said at the commission.
One of them, he said, was when it was revealed in a report at the hearing on Monday that Lonmin had fully met its housing target. That target turned out to be only three houses.
Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza SC, for families of the dead miners, said Ramaphosa was successful as part of the ANC delegation that negotiated the path to democracy with the then apartheid government before 1994.
Yet he had failed to ensure talks with the miners and a peaceful resolution to the impasse.
“It is your view that I am a skilled negotiator,” Ramaphosa said.
“As a non-executive board member, I was not involved in the day-to-day running of things such as wages and relied on the management team to negotiate with the miners.”
Ntsebeza surprised all at the commission by asking why Ramaphosa’s legal team was entirely made up of white people, if he was all for transformation.
The deputy president, seemingly annoyed, questioned the relevance of this.