Ramaphosa had 'no intention' of anyone dying at Marikana
Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa said he tried to stop further deaths from happening during the 2012 strike.
JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says he tried to stop further deaths from happening with his involvement during the 2012 mineworkers strike in Marikana.
Ramaphosa addressed professionals and academics at Rhodes University in Grahamstown on Sunday.
The ANC deputy president apologised for the language he used during that period.
In 2012, Ramaphosa - a Lonmin shareholder at the time - wrote an e-mail to board members calling for "concomitant action" after a number of people had already been killed during the wage protest.
Testifying at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the deadly Marikana shooting, Ramaphosa said: "Several people were killed. I viewed this as criminal acts. The descriptions of people being killed were in most brutal ways. I felt duty bound to try and help. Lonmin executives knew I could communicate a message to the police minister."
On Sunday, he again apologised for his words at the time.
“For nine years of my life, I have put everything I had to advance the interests of my work. It could never be that I would say 34 mineworkers should be killed. I have apologised. Even as leader, I am prepared to listen to the advice and counsel of other leaders.”
In March, families of the Marikana victims said they were still waiting for state compensation almost five years since their loved ones were gunned down by police at the North West platinum mine.
They have sought legal advice from the Socio-Economic Rights Institute.
The institute's Nomzamo Zondo said it was still a struggle for the Marikana community, who are still seeking justice.
“The state has made offers for 30 of the families and they cannot accept until it has made offers for all 36 families. We have also been waiting for apologies since 2016.”
The tragedy in Marikana has often been compared to Sharpeville, in terms of police brutality.
Government is facing claims of more than R1,1 billion arising from the massacre.
Additional reporting by Gia Nicolaides.
(Edited by Shimoney Regter)