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Ramaphosa 'deeply regrets' Marikana

Ramaphosa spent two days on the stand at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.Picture: Sapa.

PRETORIA -Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says he deeply regrets the deaths in Marikana and has conceded that he could have done more in the days leading up to the 2012 shootings.

Ramaphosa spent two days on the stand at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry answering questions about his involvement prior to the day 34 miners were gunned down by police on 16 August 2012.

At the time of the shootings, Ramaphosa was a non-executive director at Lonmin.

The deputy president was heckled for the second time this afternoon, with miners calling him a "sell-out", "killer" and a "buffalo head".

The deputy president told the inquiry he could have persuaded Lonmin to negotiate with the workers but at the time was more concerned about the murders on the platinum belt.

However, advocate Dali Mpofu, who is representing the surviving miners, said Ramaphosa failed the people of Marikana.

"We are going to argue Mr Ramaphosa that you be charged with murder alongside others I have mentioned."

Yesterday, proceedings were disrupted when protesters said Ramaphosa has blood on his hands.

Mpofu managed to intervene and calm the group down.

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

Ramaphosa has completed his cross-examination and has been excused.

HEATED EXCHANGES

Heated exchanges between Mpofu and Ramaphosa meanwhile took centre stage today.

Earlier today, the deputy president told the commission that Mpofu had asked him to help him with his certificate which needs to be signed in order for him to become a senior counsel.

When the advocate accused Ramaphosa of avoiding his responsibilities and failing the people of Marikana, the issue came up again.

"We agreed to do certain things…" Ramaphosa said.

"Don't start with me Ramaphosa because yesterday you called me to come to you otherwise you'll get 10 times of what to give," Mpofu argued.

The advocate said Ramaphosa should be held criminally liable for the tragic events that unfolded in Marikana.

But the deputy president said the tragedy is a collective responsibility and as a nation, we should bow our heads because the country failed the people of Marikana.

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.

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