Ramaphosa offers to testify in Marikana inquiry

Cyril Ramaphosa said he might be of help if he were to testify in the Marikana commission of inquiry.

Businessman and ANC NEC chairman Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Sapa

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) heavyweight and businessman Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday offered to testify at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry in Marikana in the North West.

Ramaphosa's role in the events leading up to the killing of 34 Lonmin mineworkers on 16 August was discussed during the commission's hearings this week.

In an email sent to Lonmin management a day before the police shooting, Ramaphosa condemned the protests leading up to the event.

The businessman is a shareholder at the mining company.

He described the often violent protests, which had already claimed the lives of at least 10 people before the shooting, as criminal acts and suggested concomitant action.

In a short statement issued on Saturday, Ramaphosa said he believed there were a number of issues relevant to the inquiry on which he might be able to make a contribution.

This is a bid to clear his name, following accusations that he had a hand in the events leading up to the Marikana killings.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, who represents more than 200 workers injured during the shooting, told the commission that Ramaphosa's emails showed there was a "toxic" relationship between him, Lonmin, the mining department and the police.

The commission said it will review Ramaphosa's request.

The inquiry is taking place at the Rustenburg Civic Centre, as led by retired Judge Ian Farlam.