Modise shields Ramaphosa on Marikana

An EFF MP was stopped from asking Cyril Ramaphosa about his role in Marikana.

The chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - An attempt by the Economic Freedom Fighters to sneak a question on Marikana to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in Parliament was cut short by the chairperson.

Ramaphosa was answering a question about tax evasion in the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday when an EFF MP asked about the Farlam Commission of Inquiry and the recent testimony of former Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu.

But EFF MP Leigh-Ann Mathys was quickly cut short by Chairperson Thandi Modise.

"Honourable Mathys, the question you put is about tax evasion and tax capital flight, but you have now put a long preamble to a question which you are leading which has nothing to do with the primary question you have posed."

This week, the commission heard about exchanges between Shabangu and Ramaphosa in the run-up to the shooting of 34 miners at Marikana two years ago.

Ramaphosa was a non-executive director at Lonmin at the time.

Ramaphosa spent two days testifying at the inquiry earlier this month, answering questions about his involvement in the days leading up to the shooting.

Advocate Dali Mpofu accused Ramaphosa of not doing enough to stop the violence because he was more interested in financial gain for the company.

The deputy president was also heckled by a group of angry miners, who accused him of having blood on his hands.

At the same time, the former mineral resources minister was testifying about the role she played.

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.

Mpofu, who is representing the miners, claimed Shabangu characterised the strike in Marikana as criminal only after a discussion with Ramaphosa.

Mpofu referred to Shabangu's "shoot to kill" comments made in 2008.