'Ramaphosa has blood on his hands'

Marikana miners at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry have called on the deputy president to resign.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

PRETORIA - Marikana miners at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry in Centurion have called on Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign, saying he has blood on his hands.

Ramaphosa is testifying about his involvement in the days leading up to the mass shooting on 16 August 2012 when 34 miners were killed at the hands of police.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the inquiry to investigate whether police were justified in using lethal force on the day.

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.

At the time, Ramaphosa was a non-executive board member at Lonmin and called on police to arrest those responsible for several killings at the platinum mine.

Things quickly spiralled out of control when miners at the inquiry began heckling the deputy president.

"Blood on his hands! Ramaphosa must resign!," the miners shouted.

Ramaphosa was surrounded by his body guards and didn't respond to the chants.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, who is representing the miners, managed to intervene and calm the group down.

Several mineworkers are wearing t-shirts with a picture of a buffalo, in reference to the millions of rands Ramaphosa bid on a buffalo, a month after the mass shooting.

Commissioner Ian Farlam warned that if this happens again, he'll clear the chamber.


Earlier, Ramaphosa clarified what he meant when he called for 'concomitant action' in Marikana.

"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 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.