DURBAN – Families of the Marikana miners have angrily rejected Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's apology for his role which led to the death of 34 miners three years ago.
On Sunday, while addressing students at the Rhodes University in Grahamstown, Ramaphosa apologised for a series of emails which he wrote to other Lonmin executives and government ministers in the days leading to the tragedy. In one e-mail he had called for concomitant action to be taken against the miners.
On Thursday, the Sunday Tribune spoke to some of the families who lost breadwinners in August 2014 when the miners were shot dead by the police.
Mthuthuzeli Xhegu, 40, whose brother Mafolosi Mabiya of Dutwa in the Eastern Cape, said he was angered by Ramaphosa asking for forgiveness. He accused Ramaphosa of ‘killing people’ in Marikana.
“This was just an empty talk, it makes me angry because he kept quiet for so long. He remained silent during the Farlam Commission. The only person blamed for deaths was the former police commissioner Riah Phiyega,” said Xhegu.
Nolundi Thukuzani, the first wife of the late Mphangeli Thukuzani of Nngqeleni, in the Eastern Cape, challenged the deputy president to directly apologise to the affected families.
“If his apology was sincere he should have met with us to ask for forgiveness, not the ‘cheap’ apology he made in front of the television,” said the mother of five.
“It would have carried more weight if he came to the affected families. If he really wants forgiveness he should double that with compensation because we lost breadwinners and husbands,” she said.