‘Ramaphosa should be held criminally liable for Marikana’

Dali Mpofu is cross-examining the deputy president at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered testimony at the Farlam commission about his role in the 2012 violence at Marikana. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Advocate Dali Mpofu says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should be held criminally liable for the tragic events that unfolded in Marikana in 2012.

Ramaphosa is being cross-examined at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry this morning over his role in the run up to police shooting dead more than 30 striking miners.

Mpofu is representing miners at the commission.

At the time of the 2012 shooting Ramaphosa was a non-executive director at Lonmin Platinum.

Several questions put to the deputy president have focused on what he didn't do in August 2012.

One of them is that he failed to push for negotiations between Lonmin and the miners.

He admitted Lonmin Platinum should have set up a negotiating team to try and ease tensions ahead of the 16 August shooting.

Earlier, during cross examination by Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union(Amcu) lawyer Heidi Barnes, Ramaphosa admitted that negotiations between Lonmin and the miners would have been the best option at the time.

"Negotiations are the only option in matters like these."

Barnes said the deputy president did nothing to find out what the miners' wage dispute was all about.

"You expended a great deal of energy on lobbying to have the events at Marikana characterised as criminal and to increase the police presence at Marikana."

Ramaphosa maintains that he was deeply concerned about the brutal deaths in the area and saw it as an emergency situation which needed to be dealt with before negotiations.

This morning he admitted he personally could have done more.

"One should have sort to find out more closely the actual process of negotiating with the union. I would concede I should have done, I should have probed that."

The deputy president says the tragedy at Marikana is a collective responsibility and as a nation we should bow our heads because the country failed the people of Marikana.