President Cyril Ramaphosa has denied that he is “liable for the Marikana Massacre”, saying a recent court judgment has in four instances cleared him of direct responsibility for the tragedy that took place in August 2012.
In a statement issued by his office on Monday, Ramaphosa said the tragic events at Marikana that led to the death of 34 miners and 10 law enforcement officials in August 2012, remained one of the most distressing moments in the country's democratic dispensation and a blight on contemporary history.
"Ten years later our hearts still go out to families who lost their loved ones. The violence and killings should not have happened. We are still resolute and committed in our condemnation of the brutal killings... we witnessed," Ramaphosa said in the statement.
Ramaphosa says the politicisation of the tragedy has led to unfair targeting and the isolated allocation of responsibility to him while many others have sought to create a false impression that he bears responsibility for the massacre.
He says he welcomes the judgment by the high court, saying that the court has made no findings that he is the cause of harmful conduct, adding that that court has cleared him of allegations that he bears any legal duty regarding the Marikana tragedy.
"The proceedings were not a trial and no evidence was led. The court was merely engaged in a legal debate regarding whether the plaintiffs’ allegations complied with the law.
"Secondly, the court rejected the plaintiffs' arguments that certain email communication from the president sought (to) call for (the) murder of striking workers. The judgment stated that the plaintiffs’ arguments against the president (were) 'not only far-fetched but also irreconcilable within the context of the email communication contents as a whole'...“
Ramaphosa further stated that the high court agreed that there was no factual basis for the allegations that there was collusion between him and the government as well as senior police, leading to the killing of the mine workers.
On the allegations that he had a duty to care for the plaintiffs due to the fact that he was a director of Lonmin, Ramaphosa said on this score the high court agreed with him that these allegations too were not correct.