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Ramaphosa accused of being caught up in 'incestuous relationships'

The deputy president is being cross-examined for a second day at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Sapa.

PRETORIA - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has rejected accusations that he was caught up in "incestuous relations" with role players on the platinum belt during the shootings at Marikana.

Ramaphosa is being cross-examined for a second day at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry in Centurion about the role he played in the days leading up to killings of 34 miners on 16 August 2012.

At the time, he was a non-executive director at Lonmin mine and had called for concomitant action to deal with criminal elements during the unprotected strike.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, who is representing the miners, has told the commission that he will propose that the deputy president be held criminally liable for certain aspects of the Marikana tragedy.

Mpofu also noted that Ramaphosa at the time was a shareholder and a non-executive director at Lonmin as well as an ANC National Executive Committee member.

"If you look at the web of relationships, you will accept that you were caught in a cesspool of incestuous relations."

The deputy president said he doesn't believe any of these relationships or positions he held were incestuous.

He has been accused of not doing enough to end the violence in Marikana particularly because he could have convinced Lonmin bosses to address the wage issues that the miners had raised.

Mpofu said Ramaphosa failed the people of Marikana and chose financial gain over the prevention of further deaths.

He said the root of the unprotected strike, the violence and deaths at Marikana was a labour dispute.

The advocate said Ramaphosa, as a non-executive director at Lonmin at the time, could have convinced mining bosses to negotiate with the workers.

But Ramaphosa maintains the situation was too violent at the time.

"The killing of the people was so bad and in a way so savage, the labour relations issue became diluted."

Mpofu said the deputy president called on police to stabilise the situation, because Lonmin wanted to avoid paying higher wages.

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.

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

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.