Marikana: Ramaphosa explains 'concomitant action'

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is testifying about his involvement in the days leading up to the shooting.

FILE: Cyril Ramaphosa is testifying at the inquiry about his involvement in the days leading up to the shooting.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has clarified what he meant when he called for 'concomitant action' in Marikana during August 2012 when violence gripped the platinum belt.

"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."

Ramaphosa was a non-executive board member of Lonmin at the time and says he called on police to arrest those responsible for several killings in the North West town.

Ramaphosa is testifying at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry about his involvement in the days leading up to the shooting.

He says he was deeply concerned about the increasing number of deaths at Marikana.

In 2012 Ramaphosa was a shareholder at Lonmin's Platinum mine and had sent an email to his board members in the days leading up to the shooting, calling for concomitant action.

Former police minister Nathi Mthethwa who testified last month has been accused of being influenced by the deputy president to take action against the miners, who were being violent during the strike.

#Marikana Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa testifying at Commission of Inquiry. GN

Ramaphosa says he called Mthethwa and asked him to deploy more officers to the ground because Lonmin was battling to control the situation.

Advocate David Unterhalter lead Ramaphosa's evidence and asked what he meant by calling for 'concomitant action' in an email to Lonmin executives.

Ramaphosa said, "I felt that this needed the police to take appropriate action to arrest those who were involved in these acts of criminality."

#Marikana Ramaphosa: It is Lonmin & other companies' responsibility to address living conditions of mineworker & migrant labour system. GN

The deputy president believes that the strike was more than a labour dispute and that criminal elements needed to be dealt with.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the inquiry to investigate whether police were justified in using lethal force on the day 34 striking miners were gunned down at Lonmin's Marikana mine on 16 August 2012.

Police claim they opened fire on the group after coming under attack.

Ten people were also killed in the days leading to the shooting including a mineworker, strikers, two Lonmin security guards and two policemen.

Security around and in the commission has been beefed up with policemen on horseback, Nyalas parked off outside and several officers patrolling the area on foot.