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Shabangu: I wasn't influenced by Ramaphosa

Advocate Dali Mpofu, who is representing the miners, is claiming that either Shabangu or Ramaphosa is lying.

FILE: Former Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu. Picture: Sapa.

PRETORIA - Minister of Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa did not influence her to take action in Marikana ahead of the police shooting.

Shabangu was the mineral resources minister during the workers' unprotected strike at Lonmin in August 2012, and was informed about the escalating violence by Ramphosa who was a shareholder of the company.

The minister is testifying at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry which is investigating the violence and deaths before and during the police shooting on 16 August 2012 which claimed 34 lives.

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

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

Advocate Dali Mpofu, who is representing the miners, is claiming that either Shabangu or Ramaphosa is lying.

Mpofu says in Ramaphosa's emails to the Lonmin executives in August 2012, the deputy president claimed he was able to influence Shabangu and that she agreed that the strike was criminal.

But Shabangu says she had already made up her mind about how she characterised the strike.

"Well Mr. chairman, whoever asked him to influence me, I think he failed to do so because I was never influenced by him."

Shabangu says it never stopped being a labour dispute but she believes that there were criminal elements because people were being killed.

She also insisted that she only said she'd raise the issue with the minister of police.

"I said I was going to brief the minister and the president so I never said they must act in that way."