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Will We Ever Know the Truth About Marikana? Cyril Ramaphosa Receives Summons Over Shooting

The Farlam commission of inquiry’s report might have cleared Cyril Ramaphosa of any direct involvement in the Marikana Massacre, but the Deputy President is not out of the woods yet.

Various media outlets reported yesterday and today that Ramaphosa’s lawyers have received a summons demanding that the politician, in his personal capacity, account for the shooting of 34 miners at the hands of the police.

Eyewitness News journalist Rahima Essop reports that Ramaphosa announced the news of the summons at the National Assembly yesterday, but was not very forthcoming with his answers when it came to details of the proposed compensation funds for the victims and their families:

But the deputy president was thin on details.

“The summons has been issued against me, in my personal capacity and two other parties arising from the events of Marikana in 2012.”

When Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane pressed Ramaphosa for an answer about whether a compensation fund would be set up, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete insisted Ramaphosa had responded and they should move on.

Reporting from the FrontlineWe Are Going To Kill Each Other TodayMarikanaBetween the Rainbows and the RainCyril Ramaphosa

 

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Summons served on Ramaphosa’s lawyers over Marikana shooting

A summons has been served on lawyers of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa arising from the Marikana tragedy‚ the presidency confirmed today.

Ramaphosa made reference to this during an oral reply in the National Assembly in Cape Town this afternoon. In a statement afterwards‚ the presidency confirmed the summons.

“Deputy President Ramaphosa has instructed his lawyers to defend the action‚” the presidency said.

“We reiterate the view that the findings of the Farlam Commission remain clear insofar as they relate to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa personally‚” it added.

The findings of the Farlam commission of inquiry’s report‚ released mid-year by President Jacob Zuma‚ said no member of the executive could be blamed for the 2012 fatal shooting of striking Lonmin mineworkers by police. The commission however recommended inquiries into the fitness to hold office of now-suspended national police commissioner Riah Phiyega and former North West police commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo.

Meanwhile‚ Ramaphosa told MPs that preparations for an alternative dispute resolution mechanism is ongoing‚ regarding civil claims stemming from the Marikana tragedy. Once the processes have been concluded‚ President Jacob Zuma would make an announcement “in due course”‚ he said.

Zuma announced in September that government was exploring initiating an alternative dispute-resolution process to expedite the processing of all claims arising from the events at Marikana. “A judge‚ assisted by experts‚ will be asked to lead this process in order to reinforce its independence‚” he said then.

Ramaphosa’s role in the events leading up to the shooting of 34 striking Lonmin workers by the police in August 2012‚ saw representatives of the victims blaming him for the police’s actions.

His detractors claimed he had “pressured” then police minister Nathi Mthethwa and then mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu to act against the striking workers — and that his insistence that the violent and unprotected strike be treated as criminal activity was to blame for the killings.

Ramaphosa was a Lonmin director at the time and used his influence as a member of the ANC’s national executive committee to speak to the two ministers.

The Marikana report cleared Ramaphosa‚ with the commission saying it was “of the view that it cannot be said that Mr Ramaphosa was the ’cause of the massacre’”.

It further agreed with the assertion by evidence leaders during the hearings that there was “objective evidence” showing that Ramaphosa was not aware of a police management decision made a day before the massacre “to move to the tactical option” if the striking miners refused to disarm.

It was that decision that led to the police shooting the strikers‚ the commission found.

“There is no reason to believe that the SAPS would have reacted to the events … any differently if Ramaphosa had not contacted Mthethwa‚” the Marikana report stated.

RDM News Wire

 
Also read Ranjeni Munusamy’s article in the Daily Maverick from last month, in which the columnist ponders on Ramaphosa’s involvement in the Marikana tragedy and what it means for the psyche of South Africans:

Why, then, is there an uproar over Ramaphosa’s intervention?

It is because Ramaphosa has forgotten his roots and invited deadly state force to spill the blood of his own people for his and the company’s financial benefit.

Betrayal does not get more poignant than that.

Ramaphosa is no ordinary businessman who hit the big time in post-Apartheid South Africa. He is a former general secretary of the NUM and a former ANC secretary general, who, if Nelson Mandela had his way, would have already served out two terms as South Africa’s president instead of Thabo Mbeki.

Book details

  • We Are Going To Kill Each Other Today: The Marikana Story by Thanduxolo Jika, Sebabatso Mosamo, Leon Sadiki, Athandiwe Saba, Felix Dlangamandla, Lucas Ledwaba
    EAN: 9780624063452
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!
  • Marikana: A view from the mountain and a case to answer by Peter Alexander, Thapelo Lekgowa, Botsang Mmope, Luke Sinwell, Bongani Xezwi
    EAN: 9781431407330
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!
  • Between the Rainbows and the Rain: Marikana, Migration, Mining and the Crisis of Modern South Africa by Philip Frankel
    EAN: 9780620578141
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!
 

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