JOHANNESBURG - Newly elected ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday said his call for action and the deaths at Lonmin's Marikana mine were not linked.
Rampahosa, who sits on the board of the platinum mine, sent an email a day before 34 Lonmin miners were gunned down by police, asking for action to be taken after violence erupted at the mine in August.
Thousands of miners had downed tools and demanded higher salaries.
During the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, Ramaphosa came under fire for saying "concomitant action" was needed and that some of the workers were criminals.
Advocate Dali Mpofu, who is representing a group of the miners, said Ramaphosa suggested in the email conversation that action must be taken.
“I’m quoting what was said: ‘What took place were plainly criminal acts and must be characterised as such. In line with this characterisation, there needs to be concomitant action.’”
During an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday night, Ramaphosa spoke out about the e-mails which emerged last year.
“Prior to the killing of the 34 people by police, 10 people had died, and some of them had died in the most brutal way.
“I was appealing to the authorities to take action to make sure that we prevent further deaths.”
‘THERE ARE WEAKNESSES WITHIN THE ANC’S STRUCTURES’
Ramaphosa admitted that there was a need to reestablish the moral compass of the ANC.
The businessman has been hailed as competent leader who will be able to stabilise the economic situation in the country.
Ramaphosa said the ANC was still facing massive challenges.
“Inequality, unemployment, as well all the other attendant problems such as poverty.
“There are problems that we are facing, there are weaknesses within our structures and the ANC has admitted a lot of those things.”